Cavs intent on settling "unfinished business" this year

Garland: "I want a shorter summer than I had last year"

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – If you ask Ricky Rubio why he wanted to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers following a devastating knee injury and subsequent trade, the answer is quite pointed.

“I felt like it was unfinished business,” Rubio said at the team’s media day on Monday. “We could’ve had a lot of success last year, and I didn’t want to miss a chance to really keep building of what we built last year.”

That mindset might be the driving force that’s fueling a desire to return to the postseason. The Cavs missed out on the playoffs, instead settling for a pair of game in the NBA’s Play-In Tournament.

It was a great learning experience, sure. But the Cavs want more.

“The play-in experience was great. It was like a playoff game without it being a real playoff game,” said Evan Mobley. “I feel like that experience opened all of our eyes and to what we want to accomplish and want to get to. I feel like this year we're going to be even hungrier.”

Speaking of eating, Mobley has beefed up in the offseason.
The Cavs big man isn’t sure how many pounds he’s added over the summer, but it’s a noticeable difference. Mobley wanted to make getting bigger and stronger a priority in the offseason as well as refine his three-point shooting and rebounding.

I'm just going to try to affect the games in different ways that I didn't necessarily do last year,” Mobley said. “Bringing the ball up.
You'll see me on the perimeter a little more this year.”

The added wrinkles to his game should go a long way towards making a suddenly dynamic Cavs offense even more potent. Darius Garland, fresh off an All-Star appearance that landed him a 5-year, $193 million contract will be teaming up with the newly acquired Donovan Mitchell, making a formidable one-two punch in the Cavs backcourt.

Garland and Mitchell met over the summer before the trade and worked out. Immediately Garland’s mind began racing.

“I was thinking that throughout the whole workout, ‘just imagine if we were both in the same backcourt together,” Garland said.

There’s no need to imagine, as the dream is now a reality.

Mitchell’s arrival from Utah in a blockbuster trade with Utah gives the Cavs offense a proven scoring threat. The Cavs mindset has shifted from hopes to expectations. Garland said he doesn’t hope for a good season, he knows one is right around the corner.

“I want a shorter summer than I had last year,” Garland said.

With Rubio’s return, accentuates the roster by adding critical depth. He set a goal to come back better than he was before the injury. He plans on taking his time and not skipping any phases in the process and admittedly has a timeline that changes every week.

But he did know being ready in time for training camp was an unrealistic goal.

“I feel like I had the best summer I ever felt in my career. I even hired a chef for myself at home that I never had,” Rubio said.

His target is sometime around December, but that’s a moving target.

In the meantime, the rest of the team plans on taking care of business.

“I just want to win. I think our whole team is trying to win,” said Cavs big man Evan Mobley. “I feel like we didn't go to our full capacity last year and I feel like we've got a lot to prove this year.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports