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New York Knicks Guide To Upset the Cavaliers

The Matchup

Cavaliers vs Knicks

Photo by ClutchPoints

The New York Knicks finished the season as the fifth seed in the eastern conference playoffs. This sets them up to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. Game 1 of the playoffs is Saturday night in Cleveland.

These Teams Have History

These two teams know each other very well as they squared off four times in the regular season. The Knicks won the regular season series, winning three out of four. Even though playoff basketball is completely different, winning the regular season series definitely gives the Knicks the advantage. Here are five reasons why the Knicks could upset the Cavaliers

Stop The Spida

The Knicks in order to pull off the upset, need to come up with a game plan to stop star player Donovan Mitchell. Everyone thought Mitchell was going to get traded to the Knicks this past summer, but instead he ended up going to the Cavaliers. The star shooting guard is averaging a career high 28.3 points per game, 4.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. He is also shooting 48.4% from the field and 38.6% from three. He has also made the playoffs every year of his career which definitely helps from a veteran and leadership perspective as the Cavaliers are a young team.

Steal A Game On The Road

The Knicks need to start the series hot and steal one of the games in Cleveland. Stealing a game in Cleveland and then coming home for two games in the packed and world famous Madison Square Garden would be huge for the Knicks.

Win Both Games At MSG

That brings me to my next point. The Knicks need to win both games at Madison Square Garden to give them the best chance at pulling off the upset. The Garden is going to be packed with tons of Knicks fan being as loud as energetic as ever. The Cavaliers also have a losing record on the road so it is imperative the Knicks make a statement on their home court.

Julius Randle Needs To Step Up

This point is one of the bigger question marks of this series as discussed in the Cut The Nets Podcast, are we going to see the star Julius Randle we saw this season, or the Randle we saw in the 2021 playoffs? This season, Randle was an all-star and also had a career-high in points with 25.1 per game, along with 10 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He is also shooting 45.9% from the field and 34.3% from three. However in the 2021 playoff first round loss to the Atlanta Hawks, he only averaged 18 points per game with 4.6 turnovers while shooting 29.8% from the field and 33.3% from the field. The Knicks winning or losing this series depends on what Randle the Knicks get and how he recovers from that sprained left ankle.

Win The Rebound Game

The last point for the Knicks to win this series is continue to out-rebound Cleveland. Each game of the their regular season matchup, the Knicks outrebounded the Cavaliers. If the Knicks can do this in the playoffs, that would be huge for them. The Cavaliers have a great young dynamic duo at the frontcourt in Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. It will not be easy. The Knicks have to rebound collectively as a unit relying on guys like Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Isaiah Hartenstein, and newly acquired Josh Hart, who has really embraced his role as a Knick.

Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs against the Cavaliers will be today at 6pm ET on local channels’ Bally Sports Ohio and MSG, along with primetime ESPN.

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