Dribbles: Darius Garland Calls Cavs ‘Fun,’ And He Is Right On

Random dribbles on the Cavaliers as they get set to host the Celtics on Saturday …

1. If the playoffs started today, the Cavs (8-5) would be the No. 4 seed in the East. Granted, the playoffs don’t start until April, but it’s fun to think about.Darius Garland

2. Equally impressive is the Cavs have been able to not really skip a beat without Collin Sexton, Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen.

3. So that’s showing the Cavs have some depth, balance and talent. I questioned the first two entering the season. But the three healthy starters — Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and rookie Evan Mobley — are proving to be real difference-makers.

4. Garland to reporters after the Cavs pounded the Pistons by 98-78 count on Friday: “We’re some dogs. You’re not about to come in Cleveland and roll all over us anymore.”

5. You know, Garland actually speaks the truth. It used to be that the Cavs would face a “gimme” against an opponent such as the Pistons and come out flat and frustrating. 

6. Heck, the Cavs used to be everyone else’s “gimme” opponent themselves. Not this year.

7. Mobley is a big part of that. He’s a 7-footer who does everything well, has forced nothing, and has the look of one of those guys who just wins, baby.

8. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Mobley: “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it, to be honest with you. … His sole focus. His sole agenda is, how can I help the Cleveland Cavaliers?”

9. So suddenly, the Cavs are fun to watch and winning. There’s no drama. There’s no selfishness. And there have been no nights where the Cavs could be accused of lacking effort.

10. More Garland: “It’s just fun. This group is really fun to play with. A lot of talent, like I’ve been saying all year. Now we’re starting to find the unity of this whole thing and playing together.”

11. For the record, Love and Markkanen were able to attend Friday’s game after being in the league’s health and safety protocols. The Cavs can’t give a timeframe, but I suspect both will be back within a week.

12. Sexton is still an unknown. I heard a few days back he sought a second opinion on what has been diagnosed as a torn MCL. The longer it takes for an update on if surgery is needed, the more it seems to me that Sexton will be out for a while, like several months.

13. This email on Sexton comes from reader Chip Munn: “Sexton is the Cavs’ best creator and scorer. The depth with Ricky Rubio, Isaac Okoro, Love, Cedi Osman, Dean Wade and Dylan Windler I believe is the deepest team since LeBron James left. … I believe Sexton needs a new contract and to stay in Cleveland. I know he and Darius Garland are too short, but the chemistry of this team is special.”

14. I wrote more about what I think the future may hold for Sexton and the Cavs in my previous dribbles. You can check them out right here.

15. P.S. I read all your emails even when I can’t respond. So keep them coming (samamico@gmail.com).

16. In conclusion, all is well with the Cavs, and if the playoffs started today, they would open with homecourt advantage vs. the Bulls. Hey, when it comes to this team, it’s suddenly OK to dream.

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