ZMan's Blog: Postseason
By Cleveland Charge Staff /April 18, 2023
Inches. We always hear how sports can be a game of inches, and for the Charge, it was a matter of inches that was the difference in the good guys advancing to the Eastern Conference finals and seeing their season come to an end. And when Sharife Cooper’s late game drive skimmed off the rim by inches, the Charge season came to a close after a valiant effort in Long Island against the top seeded Nets in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
But what a season it was. From an 11-4 record in the Showcase Cup portion of the schedule which saw the Charge reach the semi-finals, from an 8-game winning streak to start 2023 to 4 must win victories to seal a postseason playoff berth and a first round win at Maine over the Celtics... the 2022/2023 season was a blast. And as we on the staff reminded one another following that final game, only one team is smiling at the end of the season, and unfortunately this season it won’t be the Charge.
But it was much more than just winning and losing this season. How about the job first year head coach Mike Gerrity did? After 10 years on the Cavaliers staff, Mike took over the reigns as head coach of the Charge and proved he was up to the task. Learning on the fly the vagaries of the NBA G League, Mike adapted quickly and rolled with the punches in leading the Charge to the playoffs for the first time since the 2016/2017 season with a 31-21 overall record.
But Mike couldn’t have done it without the players, and boy did he have some talent. Cavaliers two 2-ways, Mamadi Diakite and Isaiah Mobley proved they were worth the spots as they dominated the front line. Diakite averaged over 19ppg, with just under 8 rebounds and 2 blocks, while Evan’s big brother tallied over 21ppg, 8 and a half rebounds and just under 4 assists per outing. Cleveland’s #1 overall pick in the G League draft, Sam Merrill, was as good as advertised, averaging 17ppg, while shooting 43.5% from 3, including a franchise record 10 3-balls at Greensboro. All Sharife Cooper did was average over 22 points and about 7 assists per game while being named Player of the Month for January and a 2-time player of the week recipient. Throw in the teams’ emotional leader Nate Hinton, versatile big man Jamorko Pickett and Dylan Windler on assignment from the Cavs and you’ve got quite the roster.
But let’s not forget what the “G” is all about, which is development. And to see the improvement of Uniontown’s own Chandler Vaudrin and reserve big man Gabe Osabuohien, the season was a huge success.
And we absolutely, positively can’t talk about a successful season without mentioning you the fans. After a transitional first season to Cleveland a year ago, you came out this season in droves. And we can’t Thank You enough. So, Thank You!
Did the season end the way anyone wanted it to? Nope. Was it a fantastic season in every other way possible? You bet it was. And if you think this season was fun, just wait until next year, we’re already working on ways to make the 2023/2024 season bigger and better than ever.
So, until next season, this is Scott Zurilla saying for the final time this season, Thanks so much for following along and being a part of Cleveland Charge basketball.
You have a great offseason.