February 28, 2024

No urgency, enthusiasm, or tenacity; these are the words that come to mind to describe how the Cleveland Cavs showed up in Game 3 at the Garden. The Knicks dismantled the Cavs by 20 points and held them to just 79 points. It was a very dreadful game for the Cavs. The way the Cavs performed on Friday night should concern them. Saturday’s team practice will be intense for sure.

Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 22 points on 9 for 19 shooting. Caris Levert had 17 points in 35 minutes. Darius Garland returned to his old self from Game 1. He had a nightmare game and didn’t answer the bell in Game 3. Garland finished with 10 points and shot 4 for 21 from the field. Evan Mobley added 10 points and went 5 for 10 from the field. Cavs had 20 turnovers which will not help their chances of winning the game. They got outrebounded and shot just 38% from the field.

Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett gave the Cavs’ defense a lot of trouble in Game 3. Brunson and Barrett combined for 40 points. The crowd was loud. You can feel the intensity. The Knicks were way better than the Cavs and the Cavs were awful—no support from the supporting cast. The Cavs have been a good defensive team this season, but they had no answer for Jalen Brunson. Cavs need to find a way to make it difficult for him heading into Game 4.

Game 4 on Sunday at 1 pm is a pivotal must-win game for the Cavs. Their backs are up against the wall. It will take more than one man to get the job done. It needs to be a collective team effort. Evan Mobley, Darius Garland and their bench must show up. When it’s playoff time, you need to bring it every game. You can’t take your foot off the gas.


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