It’s time for the NBA playoffs, and all eyes are on the hardwood. But let’s talk about the first-round matchup that matters the most, the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the New York Knicks. The Cavs have earned the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference and the Knicks are the 5th seed. It’s going to be a hotly-contested series, and I’m here to tell you why the Cavs will come out on top.
Let’s start with the obvious reason – Donovan Mitchell. After being acquired in the offseason, Mitchell has been a stone-cold superstar. In the playoffs, you need a superstar to step up, and Mitchell is that guy. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with, and the Knicks just can’t compete with his ability to take over a game. Mitchell’s debut season with Cleveland has been unquestionably triumphant. ‘Spida’ has averaged nearly 30 points per game which has led the Cavaliers to possess one of the top 10 offenses in the NBA. Additionally, he has contributed to the team’s top-ranking defense, which is spearheaded by the imposing tandem of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
The Knicks’ Lack of Talent
Now, let’s talk about the Knicks. Who do they even have on their team? Julius Randle? Yeah, he’s good, but he’s not going to be able to carry the Knicks to victory. The rest of their roster is just, meh. The Cavs, on the other hand, have a solid core of players that can take over a game. Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, and Jarrett Allen have been strong all year long and all roads have led the Cavs to the playoffs this year. The Knicks just don’t have the same level of talent, and it’s going to show during the arduous 7-game series.
Julius Randle’s Health
Speaking of Julius Randle, he is entering the 2023 NBA Playoffs with an ankle injury. Randle suffered the left ankle injury during the New York Knicks game against the Miami Heat on March 29th. While Randle had been having a stellar year, their best player even slightly hobbled is an advantage for Cleveland. After his injury, the Knicks rested him the rest of the regular season, clearly hoping he could be closer to full strength for the playoffs.
The Knicks will need Randle to carry the team and if his ankle is not 100%, you like the Cavs’ chances.
The Knicks’ History of Losing
Finally, let’s talk about the Knicks’ history in the playoffs. Spoiler alert: it’s not great. They haven’t won a championship since 1973, and they’ve only made it to the Finals twice since then. Meanwhile, the Cavs have been to the finals five times, winning one championship. No players from the 2016 NBA champion Cavs are still on the current roster, but regardless, 1973 vs, 2016, come on. The Knicks just don’t have the same level of success in the playoffs, and they’re known for choking when it matters the most. It’s just not looking good for them.
Ok, this one is tricky. The Cavs did lose 3 out of 4 games to the Knicks this year. But, the Cavaliers will have homecourt advantage for this matchup. Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse will be rocking for this matchup and as this is the first time that the Cavs had made the playoffs in a post-Lebron era, this is huge. Every Cavs home game will require a herculean effort from the players, coaches, and fans, which I know they will all provide.
In conclusion, the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to beat the New York Knicks in the playoffs. Donovan Mitchell is going to be a beast, and the Cavs have a better team overall. The Knicks just don’t have the same level of talent, and their history in the playoffs isn’t great. If you’re a Knicks fan, I’m sorry, but the writing is on the wall. The Cavs are going to come out on top, and it will be fun to watch. I think that the series may go the full 7 games but that the Cavs will come out victorious in the end. The schedule for the Cavs-Knicks is below and if you have any thoughts on the series, let us know in the comments! Go Cavs! Also, if you haven’t geared up for the layoffs, check out our Cleveland Vibes basketball merch!
No. 4 Cavaliers vs. No. 5 Knicks schedule
Game 1: Knicks @ Cavaliers, Saturday, April 15, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2: Knicks @ Cavaliers, Date TBA, Time TBA, Channel TBA
Game 3: Cavaliers @ Knicks, Date TBA, Time TBA, Channel TBA
Game 4: Cavaliers @ Knicks, Date TBA, Time TBA, Channel TBA
*Game 5: Knicks @ Cavaliers, Date TBA, Time TBA, Channel TBA
*Game 6: Cavaliers @ Knicks, Date TBA, Time TBA, Channel TBA
*Game 7: Knicks @ Cavaliers, Date TBA, Time TBA, Channel TBA
*Games 5-7 if necessary