The Cleveland Cavaliers are not a team devoid of playoff experience.
The current narrative around the Cleveland Cavaliers is that they’re a great team, but devoid of playoff experience. With a team that includes two potential All-Defensive Team members, a probable Top 5 MVP candidate, and potentially the Most Improved Player, it seems odd that arbitrary things like “playoff experience” would be brought up.
After all, it’s still just basketball. Not only that, but they do have a taste of playoff basketball anyway thanks in part to the play-in games last year. A literal play-off to determine who gets into the playoffs.
But assuming we subscribe that the playoffs are just “different” and that the play-in games last year don’t count, the narrative of this team lacking playoff experience is just flat-out wrong. Right now, only three players who see significant minutes have yet to play in an actual playoff series; Evan Mobley, Isaac Okoro, and Darius Garland.
Nine players on the Cavs have played in multiple playoff series, debunking the notion this team lacks experience. Maybe as a combined unit, yes, but that’s not as important as people make it out to be.
What Cleveland Cavaliers have had playoff experience
Let’s start with the most obvious players. Donovan Mitchell has obviously played in a lot of playoff games in Utah. He had played 39 games, racking up 1,444 minutes played. Robin Lopez also played in a number of games, 36, and saw 844 minutes played. Danny Green also had a lot of games, leading everyone on the Cavs with 164 games and securing 4,228 minutes played.
He’s played so many playoff games only Andre Iguodala and LeBron James are ahead of him for most playoff games played among active players. To further highlight how many games he’s actually seen, he has more playoff experience than Kevin Durant. And more titles too. As for Iguodala and James? Green beat both men in the playoffs.
That’s not all, however. Raul Neto has 27 games of playoff experience with 290 minutes. Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen saw action with nine games each, and for 284 and 243 minutes respectively.
Shockingly, Ricky Rubio only has 11 games, with 349 procured minutes.
Even more shockingly, Cedi Osman has 14 games of playoff experience, though only for 61 minutes played. The same is true for Sam Merril, who has eight games and only 29 minutes played.
Altogether, the Cavaliers roster has seen a combined 317 games, with 7,772 minutes played. Sure, other teams may have more, but to say the Cavs have none is a lie.