The New York Knicks are going to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013. It’s been a decade which is unbelievable how much time flies. It’s another disappointing season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They lost Game 5 by the final score of 106-95. It’s a bitter-taste ending to an exciting season in Cleveland.
The Knicks controlled the game most of the way Wednesday. It’s been the Knicks’ way from Games 3 through 5. The Cavs never seemed to recover from that Game 3 blowout, but at least they showed some fight in Game 5. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are terrific players. The City of Cleveland admires them. However, they would need to put in much work during the off-season. They got outplayed by Mitchell Robinson, who constantly won the rebounding game. Knicks outrebounded the Cavs 48-30. Rebounding is essential in a basketball game and can help a team win games. This is one of the reasons why the Knicks won this series. Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 23 points. RJ Barrett added 21.
Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists, though he shot just 3 of 12 from behind the arc. Darius Garland added 21 points and Caris LeVert finished with 17 points. It’s Donovan’s sixth season in the NBA and he hasn’t gone to the Conference Finals yet. He expressed his disappointment during the postgame interview. Mitchell had a superb first season with Cleveland. As for the rest of his teammates, it’s only the beginning of feeling the pain of an early playoff exit. Mitchell, as their best player and leader, would need to raise his game and leadership to a whole another level next season.
The Knicks will face off against the Miami Heat in the second round. As for the Cavs, what pieces are they missing to get to that ultra-competitive level? It seems that they need more scoring from their bench. To be a title contender, you need a superstar, play defense, ball movement and a solid bench. The Cavs need more depth from their bench.