The Cleveland Cavaliers fell apart against the New York Knicks.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in trouble. After dropping a winnable game against the New York Knicks, 105-103, the Cavs fell to 29-20 on the season. Not only that, but the Cavs over their last 16 games are just 7-9 dating back to their Dec. 31 win over the Bucks. Since that late-December win, it’s been below .500 basketball in Cleveland.
The issue has largely been the play of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell when they’re on the court together. The pair, offensively, are a great pair, but defensively they are among the worst in the league. While both players in lineups without one another can play solid defense, together they’re just too exposed.
The Cavs often start games off struggling to play good defense, and over the last 16 games have been outscored 471 to 418 in the first quarter. They’re given up nearly 30 points in the first quarter alone while posting a BPM of -4 in the process.
The issue will continue to be Garland and Mitchell’s inability to play next to one another defensively for as long as JB Bickerstaff allows it to be. Staggering their minutes, using Cedi Osman and Dean Wade more in starting lineups, and off the bench, while not giving up on the bench crew just because the starters blew the lead have all gotta be things that change for this team before a trade is even considered.
Cleveland Cavaliers top 3 vs. the New York Knicks
1 Point – Isaac Okoro
31 minutes, 9 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists +18 BPM
2 Points – Darius Garland
35 minutes, 22 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, +20 BPM
3 Points –Jarrett Allen
39 Minutes, 24 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, +15 BPM
Cavs Top 3 Seasonal Standings
- Darius Garland – 55 Points
- Donovan Mitchell –54 Points
- Evan Mobley & Jarrett Allen – 33 points
- Cedi Osman – 31 points
- Caris LeVert & Kevin Love – 20 Points
- Isaac Okoro – 13 Points
- Dean Wade – 3 Points
- Lamar Stevens & Raul Neto – 2 Points
- Ricky Rubio – 1 Point