1. October 31st, 2023: vs. New York Knicks
I'm sure you guessed this would be a Knicks game when I didn't put one in those first four.
The first-round playoff loss to the Knicks last year was absolutely brutal, and it left an awful taste in the mouths of Cavs fans after the most exciting regular season we've had since LeBron left.
It was especially bad because the Cavs are absolutely the better team. But the Knicks just seemed to have our number all year, and Cleveland went just a total of 2-7 in the season series (regular season and playoffs). That's the kind of brutal record you don't expect a playoff team to post against any opponent.
Thankfully, however, the NBA isn't making us wait long to get our revenge.
Both of these teams' rosters are very similar to the ones that faced off last year, but they're also both young teams that will have made significant developments since April.
Getting past the Knicks will be a mental challenge as much as it will be a test of skill, and this game will tell us a lot about what to expect this season. If the team looks mentally beaten or tentative in this game it could be a bad sign of things to come. But if the Cavs respond well and show the full extent of what they're capable of, then we could be looking at a young squad ready to make a deep playoff run.
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