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Cleveland Cavaliers Star Darius Garland Admits He Was ‘Hurt’ After Crushing NBA Play-in Tournament Loss

Darius Garland is one of the most talented players in high school basketball, but after an embarrassing tournament loss against a second-tier team last month has he become too sensitive?

The “is darius garland playing tonight” is a question that has been asked by many fans. Darius Garland, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first round pick in the 2019 NBA draft, admitted he was “hurt” after his team’s crushing loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in tournament.

On April 8, 2022, Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles during a game against the Brooklyn Nets. | Getty Images/Sarah Stier

The biggest breakthrough star of the 2021-22 NBA season was Darius Garland. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard was a nominee for the Most Improved Player award and an All-Star. He had career highs in points (21.7), assists (8.6), rebounds (3.3), and steals (three) (1.3). And the 22-year-old hit 46.2 percent of his field goals, the highest proportion in his career.

The Cavs had a surprise successful season thanks to Garland’s efforts. They had their first winning season since 1997-98, and they qualified for the NBA Play-In Tournament. However, injuries were the primary cause for their relegation to the play-in tournament, which led to the Cavaliers losing both of their games and missing the playoffs.

Garland has subsequently stated that the defeats “hurt” him. However, it looks that he will utilize them as incentive in 2022-23.

Losses in the NBA Play-In Tournament “hurt” Darius Garland.

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In the play-in round, the Cavaliers faced the Brooklyn Nets. Cleveland finished eighth in the Eastern Conference, while Brooklyn ended seventh. Despite a valiant effort by Darius Garland and his teammates, the Cavs were defeated 115-108.

With a game against the ninth-place Atlanta Hawks, they had one more opportunity to enter the playoffs. Trae Young’s team, on the other hand, upset the Cavaliers 107-101 to keep them out of the playoffs.

Cleveland was beat up going into the games. Jarrett Allen, the team’s highest scorer the previous two years, missed a large portion of the season due to a knee injury, while Collin Sexton, the team’s leading scorer the previous two years, missed the bulk of the season due to a knee injury.

Garland has high expectations for the Cavs next season, with a (hopefully) healthy team.

“Getting into the playoffs is definitely a goal,” he told GQ. “My goal is to go to the first or second round.” That is my primary objective. I was a little disappointed after the play-in game experience and not making the playoffs. But we’ll be back next year, stronger and healthier.”

What did the defeats to the Nets and Hawks hurt the most?

“It was acquiring that experience,” Garland said, “and I didn’t want the season to end.” “You could hardly hear in the stadium when you were there, experiencing the playoff experience, the excitement with the whole city behind you.” It was lighted the whole time in Brooklyn [and] at home versus Atlanta in the second game. That was most likely the most heated basketball game I’ve ever seen. So having that experience was good, but I absolutely want to make the playoffs.”

The Cavs have a chance to have a successful season in 2022-23.

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Next season, a healthy Cavs squad might pose difficulties for the Eastern Conference.

Even without Collin Sexton, they were a top-four seed in the East at the All-Star break this year. The Cavaliers may be one of the most dangerous teams in the league next season if they can re-sign Sexton and put him on a squad with Garland, Allen, excellent youngster Evan Mobley, and Caris LeVert.

But they aren’t the only ones they’ll have. After included it in the trade for LeVert at the trade deadline, the Cavs were able to maintain their 2022 draft selection despite losing in the play-in round. It had lottery protection, so they hold it as well as two second-round picks, giving the Cavaliers the option to trade for a star veteran or choose a big-name prospect with their lottery pick.

Darius Garland and the Cavaliers may be hurting after a bad 2021-22 season, but they may use it as inspiration to produce a fantastic 2022-23 season.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers uses a passionate Instagram post to sternly slam his critics.

The “darius garland update” is an article about the Cleveland Cavaliers Star Darius Garland admitting to being hurt after his team’s crushing loss in the NBA play-in tournament.

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