The Milwaukee Bucks took a tough 115-99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, and that loss has given Giannis Antetokounmpo a new perspective on the Cavs.
According to Camryn Justice from News 5 Cleveland, Antetokounmpo praised the young Cavs team on their surge up the NBA standings following the game.
“This is not the Cleveland that we knew in the past years…they’re a playoff team, they’re out there fighting for the title themselves,” Antetokounmpo said.
That change in mentality from the Cavs is clear to see on the court and is reflected in their current position in the standings. The Cavaliers are currently third in the Eastern Conference with a record of 30-19, and only 1.5 games back of the first-place Miami Heat.
Cleveland had already surpassed its win total from last season when the Cavs finished 13th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 22-50. The Cavaliers haven’t even made the playoffs since the departure of LeBron James following the 2017-18 season.
The last time the Cavaliers made the playoffs without James on the roster was in 1998.
The Bucks dropped to sixth in the Eastern Conference after the loss with a 30-20 record.
The revamped Cavs are led by their homegrown Big 3 of Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. This season, that trio of players has combined to average 50.8 points, 12.7 assists, and 22.4 rebounds per game, with Garland and Allen getting All-Star considerations and Mobley being a front-runner for Rookie of the Year.
The Cavs will go again this Sunday when they head to Detroit to take on the Pistons (11-36) at 6:00 p.m. EST.