Knicks vs. Cavaliers Round 1 Preview

Let’s take a look at the matchups for the upcoming Knicks/Cavaliers series.

Wings: I mean, both Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland have been All-Stars (Mitchell was even an All-Star starter) while Jalen Brunson has never made the All-Star team. Plus, the Knicks were willing to trade a gazillion picks for Donovan Mitchell, ergo, he is clearly the best player around. Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes have also never made All-Star teams. RJ Barrett was once a McDonalds All-American, though, so he’s the closest the Knicks come to matching the Cavaliers’ stars.

Bigs: The Knicks have officially listed Julius Randle as Questionable for Game 1, but come on, we all know he is going to play, and he is going to do too much too soon and it will sink the team. Evan Mobley is a great defender and he will easily handle Randle. Unintended poetry. Jarrett Allen is basically Mitch just making more money, so that’s a win for the Cavs.

Bench: The Knicks have two Harts, but as Phil Collins once sang, “Two hearts believing in just one mind,” and one mind is not that helpful on the basketball court, so I think that you have to give the Cavs the nod, especially when they have Ricky Rubio, who was almost a Knick once. I guess Quickley can be here, too, but the argument against Quickley for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award is that he starts too much. It’s so confusing.

Coaches: J.B. Bickerstaff is the son of longtime NBA coach, Bernie Bickerstaff, and we all know that nepo babies are all the rage nowadays, so I think that is a clear advantage for the Cavs, as Tom Thibodeau’s dad worked for a steel company. So what good is THAT?

Cavaliers in four.

41 replies on “Knicks vs. Cavaliers Round 1 Preview”

“Bench: The Knicks have two Harts, but as Phil Collins once sang, “Two hearts believing in just one mind,””

True, but Springsteen sang “Two hearts are better than one.”

So there’s that.

Maybe that means the Knicks can sneak a game. No one so far as I know has sung, “Two games are better than one,” or “Two games believing in just one mind,” so yeah:

Cavs in 5.

Non-joke prediction: Knicks in 7 (assuming Randle is ready to go by g2)

The Cavs aren’t winning a clinching Game 6 at MSG on a Friday night and I won’t allow myself to believe such a thing is even possible.

So if it goes exactly 6, the Knicks are winning the series.

The Cavs are properly favored; the Knicks could win. If I was forced to bet on a team on pain of my life if I was wrong, I’d pick the Cavs and be worried my time here might end in a couple weeks.

That’s pretty much all I got.

Knicks in 6. I believe Grimes and Hart will contain Mitchell and Brunson will have a big series.

Brian, this is a great piece, thanx. I laughed hard at “RJ Barrett was once a McDonalds All-American, though, so he’s the closest the Knicks come to matching the Cavaliers’ stars.“. So funny. 😀
With how powerful your jinxes are, now i know we’re gonna sweep the Cavs. 😉 😛

U2 – “Two hearts beat as one”

Great tune, had to go listen to it. 😉 The 80s, what a great time to be young and growing from a kid to a man. So many things happened that decade. Or it’s that i’m biased. LOL

If I was forced to bet on a team on pain of my life if I was wrong, I’d pick the Cavs and be worried my time here might end in a couple weeks. That’s pretty much all I got.

It’s getting better, by game 2 you’ll be predicting Knicks in 6. 😉 😛

@cyber It’s very hard to win a game 7 on the road, that’s why I say Knicks in 6.

I didn’t quite understand what Brian was doing at first, but now I get it.

I didn’t realize there was a new thread, so I’m reposting this:
Whether the Knicks offense will hold up in the playoffs is a great question. I’ve long had the theory that most offenses do get worse in the playoffs except that read and react offenses like the Triangle don’t, or at least deteriorate less in the playoffs. Phil Jackson’s teams always seemed to come through in the playoffs (and often break our hearts). Steve Kerr’s offensive system seems to do this too, and now Mike Brown’s Kings offense is spectacular. I think it may be that system offenses do better because a lot of playoff defensive preparation involves working on adjusting matchups by how you handle pick and rolls and other offensive schemes that help get good matchups for the offense. But if the offense you are preparing for is designed to pass the ball and make cuts to get players free, adjusting matchups doesn’t work as well.

So where does the Knicks current offense fit in this train of thought? I don’t really know, but suspect it’s somewhere in the middle. I’m really not sure you can defensively adjust for a rebounding edge, but maybe you can. But certainly having Randle or Brunson drive and kick out to a middling but open shooter on the perimeter should still work close to as well as it does now. But I’m worried. The Cavs are a team that has a good defense in the middle and that could mess with our rebounding. On the other hand, if attacking them in the middle turns out to be a decoy for open threes and short floaters, they could get very frustrated with how resilient our offense seems to be.

I’m thinking Randle/Obi will keep Mobley away from the basket and the Fro will have his hands full trying to keep Mitch off the boards. This will give Brunson enough room to operate.

The Hollinger piece is actually pretty good. A lot of tough calls this postseason, and some easy ones. Knicks/Cavs is tough.

IQ is the key. If he is for real, we are the way better team: Knicks in 5.

If IQ is inconsistent, it’s gonna take us 7 games.

I’m not loving our odds in the Cleveland series. I think we’d need to be at full strength to beat them, and we’re not at full strength without Randle. Cleveland is deep and it’s tough to score on them.

Cleveland in 6, but the games will probably all be competitive

Hollinger’s point is basically that if RJ doesn’t play a lot of minutes, we have a good chance to upset them. That seems right to me.

“ Arena is half empty in Miami..”

It still annoys the shit out of me that they got those LeBron titles. The worst fans.

I had a Strus juice to celebrate the game.

Caruso definitely has that dawg in him. Demar too.

And Brian, I am here for the fan service.

I think it’s all about Mitchell. If we keep him to 30 or under in the game the Knicks will win that game.

Riley will never trade with us, but how perfectly would Butler fit with our roster?

I hope the Knicks win this series and extend their season an extra week or 2 cause I have very little interest in watching the Yankees right now.

This Knicks/Cavs series really is a total crapshoot, right? I think the Cavs are definitely the more talented team, but they’re filled with guys who I have no idea if they will come through in a playoff game. Brunson, meanwhile, practically single-handedly won playoff games in the past.

The long awaited RJ breakout would definitely help.

I think I will be frustrated with how he plays but hoping for the best.

I wonder if Caruso would be available. Lavine no thanks, but Caruso instead of RJ? Not ideal, but way better…

Whatever you think of Thibs, the idea of Mazzula being a Coach of the Year finalist over him is a joke. It’s Mike Brown’s award to lose, but fucking Mazzula?!

Yes, it’s a real joke…

On the subject, given the good work his two former main assistants did this year (Mazzula and Hardy in Utah) I’m wondering if maybe Udoka isn’t the great coach he’s touted to be…

They need to release a memo reminding people that Boston no longer has the #1 record

Cleveland is an interesting team in that they seem to have two pairs of fairly duplicative players in Mobley/Allen and Garland/Mitchell. It’s rare to have a team field two pretty pure bigs and two ball dominant guys.

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