The Cleveland Cavaliers are ready to write an important new chapter in their history. The Cavs reached the postseason for the first time in over 20 years without LeBron James. To find the Cavaliers in the playoffs without LeBron James we have to even go back to 1993. A new wind is blowing in Ohio, a wind that has brought the Cavs to play the playoffs even with the advantage of having the field in their favor. A result with an even different flavor considering that the opponent will be the New York Knicks.
It’s the Donovan Mitchell game
During the offseason, Donovan Mitchel was frequently linked with the Knicks. New York coach Tom Thibodeau had explicitly requested the player. The deal seemed close to being concluded, but then everything fell through. Now fate is about to pit Mitchell against what could have been his new team. Mitchel was undoubtedly the driver of the Cavs to the playoffs. His average is 28.3 points per game which have allowed the Cavaliers to place themselves among the 10 best offenses in the league. Mitchell’s contribution to the team was also very important defensively, so much so that the Cavs are number one in the defensive standings, also thanks to the extraordinary season played by Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Statistics bode well for the playoffs.
Cavaliers vs Knicks: regular season series
The Cavaliers have met the Knicks four times this season, winning only once, in the first meeting between the two franchises:
October 30, 2022: Cavaliers 121, Knicks 108
December 4, 2022: Knicks 92, Cavaliers 81
January 24, 2023: Knicks 105, Cavaliers 103
March 31, 2023: Knicks 130, Cavaliers 116
Also in these four games, Donovan Mitchell managed to be the added value with an average of 31.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds.
E118: Doug Datish, Former NFL Player & Philanthropist talks mental health, football & Trumbull County HOF.
The keys of the series
Landmarks – Donovan Mitchell and Jalen Brunson are the players who have given their greatest contributions to playoff qualification and they have also shown it in the four times they have competed during the regular season. The unknown instead is Julius Randle who shouldn’t be there for the first game of the series due to the left ankle injury he sustained against Miami.
Defense vs Offense – The Cavaliers have the best defense ever and the Knicks have shown in the four games played this season that they have a formidable offense. An aspect not to be underestimated and which further enhances a series that promises entertainment.
Two different styles of play – This series will not only be characterized by defensive (Cavs) and offensive (Knicks) qualities. The style that the coaches decide to implement will be fundamental. On the one hand, there is JB Bickerstaff who prefers a game with a very slow pace but capable of hitting at the right moment. Thibodeau, on the other hand, could play everything in midfield, accelerating the pace of play and the Knicks’ offense.
Cavaliers vs. Knicks Schedule
Cavs and Knicks will kick off their series this Saturday (April 15) at 6:00 PM, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
This is the complete schedule of the series:
Tuesday, April 18, Knicks vs. Cavs
Friday, April 21, Cavs vs. Knicks
Sunday, April 23, Cavs vs. Knicks
Wednesday, April 26, Knicks vs. Cavs
Friday, April 28, Cavs vs. Knicks
Sunday, April 30, Knicks vs. Cavs