As we covered yesterday the Cleveland Cavaliers still have a shot in the NBA Playoff Race. After yesterday’s results, a big Cavs win and a demoralizing Knicks loss, it is possible that the narrative going forward for each team could change quickly, as in tonight. Yet both teams have been bi-polar, showing great resolve and skill then imploding soon after, all year long so anything could happen.
The narrative nationally for the Cavaliers is pretty clear in ESPN’s write up of last night’s game:
However, Toronto didn’t execute when it needed to and lost to a Cleveland team playing for nothing more than pride.
At least the Cavs overcame their own mistakes, something they’ve rarely done during this disappointing season.
The Cavs are playing for nothing but pride? They are only 4.5 games back, sure with only 10 to go but in this Eastern Conference anything is possible. Disappointing season? Sure, we can all agree there.
That brings us to tonight. With the Cavs (7:30), Knicks (10:00) and Atlanta Hawks (8:00) all playing that narrative could quickly shift. The Cavs play the Pistons who seem to just be playing out their games until their interim coach gets fired. A game that should be winnable as long as the team stays focused and doesn’t get to high on itself. The Knicks play the Kings, who are generally seen as a walk over but have only 4 less wins then the team from New York. After last night’s loss to the Lakers, who played many players you haven’t heard of, anything is possible including a giant egg of a game for the Knicks. The Hawks matchup with the Timberwolves who have had their fair share of struggles this year as well but sit with a better record then the Hawks and have Kevin Love. I would generally bet on Love in that game.
If all 3 games go the Cavs way, their win and 2 losses, the Cavs would then only be a half game behind the Knicks and 3.5 behind the Hawks. That would be a huge, and quick, 2 game swing in 2 days for the Cavs. That could accelerate the return of Kyrie Irving, C.J. Miles and Anthony Bennett to give some of the players a little more rest then they have been getting, none they have been getting close to no rest in games. It would start their’s and the fans’ confidence level rising quickly. Could that get dashed just as quickly? Sure, but in this season of ups and downs don’t bet out the Wine and Gold. Then a playoff matchup with the suddenly struggling Indiana Pacers looks more and more interesting.
What is the narrative for you if all 3 games go the Cavs way tonight? Does it excite you? Frustrate you?