“I’ve been watching a lot of film of it this summer. Just trying to find ways to improve for next year. But now we’ve seen the playoffs,” Garland said. “For a lot of guys, it was our first time in the playoffs, so just getting that playoff experience made us better I think and made us hungrier. Even though we had a good year, I think we can trend up another notch this year and see what’s to come.”
One thing that Garland believes is that the Cavs collectively have to be tougher and stronger in their next postseason appearance.
“We have to be more physical,” Garland said. “I think their physicality took a toll on us in that series. They beat us up. We now know how physical the game is in the playoffs and we know how fast the pace is and every possession matters. Just taking little bits and pieces of that series and trying to put it together for the regular season and then also carry that into the playoffs.”
We have more from the Eastern Conference:
- Bam Adebayo believes the Heat simply wore down during their long postseason run, he told Leonard Solms in an ESPN story. “I feel like we just came up short because we had [among the most] injuries in the 2022-23 season. [Through] all those ups and downs throughout the season… I feel like fatigue had a toll,” he said of the Finals loss to the Nuggets.
- Kevin Love‘s role with the Heat could fluctuate next season, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. Love could start against bigger front lines with Caleb Martin starting against small-ball lineups, provided Martin isn’t dealt. Love could also see some action as the backup center. However, Winderman notes that coach Erik Spoelstra prefers continuity during the regular season.
- Bucks guard MarJon Beauchamp had a memorable performance at the Crawsover Pro-Am event in his hometown of Seattle over the weekend, JR Radcliffe of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes. Beauchamp scored 83 points in a game at Seattle Pacific University to set an event scoring record. He’s expected to have an expanded role next season with the Bucks after playing 52 regular season games as a rookie.