CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers season is officially over, but there may be some accolades coming their way with three players named finalists for 2021-22 NBA Awards.
Darius Garland has been named a finalist for the Kia NBA Most Improved Player, Evan Mobley has been named a finalist for the Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award and Kevin Love has been named a finalist for the Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
Garland had his best season yet, helping lead the Cavs to the play-ins and giving them their first winning season since 2018 and first without LeBron James on the roster since 1998. Garland averaged 21.7 points and 8.6 assists while making improvements in his all-around game.
Also up for Most Improved Player are Grizzlies Ja Morant and Spurs Dejounte Murray.
Mobley made a name for himself early, standing out not only as a top rookie but as an explosive player in the league in general, averaging 15 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks.
Also up for the Rookie of the Year Award are Raptors Scottie Barnes and Pistons Cade Cunningham.
Mobley's teammates have advocated for him to win the award all season, with Love saying Saturday that they still believe he should get the honors.
"We fully expect him to be Rookie of the Year," Love said.
Love is up for an award himself after stepping up in a role that saw him coming off the bench.
Before the season, it seemed that Love was unhappy and it seemed inevitable that he would part ways with Cleveland. Instead, Love became a true leader of the Cavs, lending his veteran knowledge to the young guys while averaging 13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2. assists.
Love is up for the Sixth Man of the Year Award with Heat's Tyler Herro and Suns Cam Johnson.
The finalist were named based on voting results from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The winners of each award will be announced on TNT during the 2022 NBA Playoffs coverage.
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