Cavs to have 17 nationally televised games in 2023-24 season

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ season tips off on Wednesday, October 25, on the road against the Brooklyn Nets, the league announced on Thursday.

The team’s home opener is on Friday, October 27, versus Oklahoma City.

This season, Cleveland, who were 51-31 last season and made the playoffs for the first time since 2018, will make 17 national television appearances.

-Three games on TNT (October 31 vs. New York, November 21 at Philadelphia, and February 1 at Memphis).

-Six games on ESPN (January 17 vs. Milwaukee, February 14 vs. Chicago, February 23 at Philadelphia, March 3 vs. New York, March 10 vs. Brooklyn, April 3 at Phoenix).

-Eight games on NBA TV (November 11 at Golden State, November 13 at Sacramento, December 14 at Boston, December 16 vs. Atlanta, December 29 vs. Milwaukee, January 11 vs. Brooklyn in NBA Paris Game, March 29 vs. Philadelphia, and March 31 at Denver)

Key Games at home:

The 2023-24 season includes a visit from the NBA-champion Denver Nuggets on November 19 and a pair of visits from the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat on November 22 and March 20. 

Cleveland will also host the Chicago Bulls for a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day game on January 15. Additional marquee opponents coming to Cleveland only once this season include the Golden State Warriors on November 5, the Los Angeles Lakers on November 25, the San Antonio Spurs on January 7, the Phoenix Suns on March 11, and the Memphis Grizzlies on April 10. 

The Cavaliers will also travel to Paris on January 11 to host Brooklyn at Accor Arena for the franchise’s first-ever game in Europe.

NBA In-Season Tournament

Cleveland will also participate in the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, with Group Play games taking place on Tuesdays and Fridays in November.

The Cavaliers are set to compete in East Group A with four games against teams in their pool: November 3 at Indiana, November 17 vs. Detroit, November 21 at Philadelphia, and November 28 vs. Atlanta. Eight teams (four per conference) will advance from Group Play into the Knockout Rounds. The advancing teams will be the six group winners and two “wild cards” (the team from each conference with the best record in Group Play games that finished second in its group). 


Fifteen sets of back-to-back games, including four home-home sets (Oct. 27-28, Nov. 25-26, Dec. 20-21, and March 10-11), five home-road sets (Oct. 31-Nov. 1, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, Feb. 22-23, Feb. 27-28, March 5-6), four road-road sets (Dec. 11-12, Feb. 7-8, April 2-3 and April 6-7) and two road-home sets (Nov. 21-22, March 24-25).

Home Cooking

The Cavaliers will have a five-game homestand over nine days from Nov. 22-30, featuring contests versus Miami (November 22), L.A. Lakers (November 25), Toronto (November 26), Atlanta (November 28), and Portland (November 30). They also have a six-game homestand, which includes the NBA Paris Game on January 11 vs. Brooklyn, and games in Cleveland against Washington (January 3 and January 5), San Antonio (January 7), Chicago (MLK Day on January 15), and Milwaukee (January 17).

On the road again

Cleveland’s longest road trip spans five games over eight days from March 31-April 7. The team also has two four-game road trips (Nov. 8-15 and Jan. 20-26), three three-game road trips (Dec. 11-14, Feb. 7-10, and March 13-18) and five two-game road trips (Nov. 1-3, Feb. 1-3, Feb. 23-25, Feb. 28-March 1, March 22-24).


National holiday games include Halloween (October 31 vs. New York), Veteran’s Day (November 11 at Golden State), Thanksgiving Eve (November 22 vs. Miami), New Year’s Day (January 1 at Toronto), MLK Day (January 15 vs. Chicago), Valentine’s Day (February 14 vs. Chicago) and Easter (March 31 at Denver).

March Madness

The Cavaliers will play 17 games in March, their most in any month during the 2023-24 season. 

Click below for complete schedule:

Cavs have successful season but losing to Knicks in 5 is disappointing

The Cavs season ended Wednesday night as the Knicks led from start to finish and defeated Cleveland 106-95 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Game 5 of their first-round series.

The Knicks win the series 4-1 and advance to the second round of the playoffs, where they will play the Miami Heat.

Here’s the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Knicks:

Bottom Line:

As stated in Game 4, Cleveland got outworked, outmuscled, outhustled, and beat up by the Knicks in this series.

In Game 5, New York had 17 offensive rebounds, leading to 20 second-chance points, and Cleveland only had three. In total, New York outrebounded the Cavs 48-30. The only game the Cavs did not get outrebounded in was Game 2, the only game they won in this series.

New York outrebounded Cleveland 227 to 186 in this series.

Jarrett Allen was a disappointment in this series. It’s one thing to be outplayed by an Embiid or Jokic type, but it’s another thing to get outplayed and outworked by Mitchell Robinson(8.0 ppg and 9.8 rpg). Allen had a solid season and must get stronger in the offseason. He was a non-factor in this series(9.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg in series).

Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Isaac Okoro played in their first playoff series, and all three players were up and down in this series. Garland had a great Game 2 and second half in Game 4. Mobley led the team in rebounds(10.0 rpg), and Okoro had a few moments, but again, they were inconsistent.

Donovan Mitchell was brought to Cleveland to get them to playoffs; he did that. However, he didn’t play like a superstar in this series. Not all his fault, as the Knicks did a good job of limiting his scoring, but great players find ways. It was reminiscent of what happened to him in last year’s playoffs in his final season in Utah in the first round against the Mavericks(39% shooting from the field); he struggled in that series and against the Knicks(43% shooting). 

People will question the coaching any time you lose, as the Cavs lost in this series. J.B. Bickerstaff could have been better. They never controlled Jalen Brunson, maybe we should have seen more of a hustle guy like Lamar Stevens, and he could have found a way to get Mitchell loose, but this is a young team, and they played like a young team.

Cleveland will have to get consistency from the small forward position. Okoro, Dean Wade, Stevens, and Caris LeVert were inconsistent this season, and LeVert, who will be an unrestricted free agent, could be that guy. They also need more bench help.

Cleveland has little cap space and draft capital after the Mitchell trade, so they might have to be creative. Maybe Okoro could be a trade piece, but wondering how much that could get for him.

The Cavs made the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and the first time without LeBron James since 1998. They won 51 games, which is also impressive. The future is still very bright in Cleveland. Allen is still a very good center, Mobley will get a year better, Garland is an All-Star caliber player, Mitchell is still big-time, and they’re all young, so this team is on the upswing. However, losing to the Knicks in five is a huge disappointment.

Cavs get outworked, outhustled, fall to Knicks in Game 4

After losing Game 3 to the Knicks on Friday, the Cavs were down 2-1 in their first-round series, so Game 4 was a must-win for Cleveland. 

However, Jalen Brunson had 29 points, six rebounds, and six assists, and R.J. Barrett added 26 points as the Knicks defeated the Cavs 102-93 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

With the loss, the Cavs are now down 3-1. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Cleveland.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Knicks.

The Great:

Second Half Garland: Darius Garland scored 21 of his team-high 23 points and seven of his game-high 10 assists in the second half, including 11 points and five assists in the third. After appearing rattled in Game 3, Garland settled in at MSG, and it appeared the Cavs would tie the series at 2, but it didn’t happen.

Third Quarter: Garland and the Cavs woke up in the third. After trailing 54-45 at the break, Cleveland started the third quarter on an 18-7 run to take their first lead of the game at 63-61. Cleveland shot 52% from the field in the third, and they trailed 73-71 at the end of three.

Not So Great:

ReboundingThe Cavs were killed on the glass again. They were outrebounded 47-33 by New York. Mitchell Robinson and former Cav Isaiah Hartenstein had a combined 11 offensive rebounds. The Knicks outscored the Cavs 21-12 in second-chance points. 

Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley got outworked by Robinson and Hartenstein.

Donovan Mitchell was off on Sunday, and he was 5/18 from the field and had only 11 points to go along with six turnovers. Cleveland needed Mitchell to be Mitchell, and he wasn’t.

First Half: The Cavs got off to a slow start; the Knicks led by as many as 15 points in the first half. Cleveland was sloppy, as they had nine of their 13 turnovers in the first half, which led to 11 points for the Knicks. New York did not shoot it well in that first half(41%), but they had 11 of their 17 offensive rebounds in the first half.

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland fought back in the game in the third but fell apart in the fourth. The game was tied at 75 with just under 10 minutes to go, and the Knicks went on a 5-0 run to push the lead to 80-75. The Cavs would cut the lead to three, but they could not control Barrett(10 points in the fourth), Brunson(8), and Josh Hart(8). The Knicks led by as many as 11 points in the fourth.

Cleveland shot 42% from the field in the final stanza and was outscored 29-22 by the Knicks in the fourth quarter. 

Bottom Line:

The Cavs’ response on Sunday was disappointing. Garland brought in the second half, but Mitchell could have been better. Allen, Mobley, and everybody else got manhandled on the boards, and the Knicks continued to outwork and outhustle the Cavs.

The Knicks’ second-leading scorer, Julius Randle, was awful in Games 3 & 4, but it did not matter because the Cavs could not make shots and did not play good basketball. 

Cleveland averaged 86 points in the two games in New York, which included a league-low 79 points on Friday.

In NBA history, teams with a 3-1 series lead have won 95% of the time, so history is working against Cleveland. However, you have to take it one game at a time. If the Cavs can win Game 5 in Cleveland and steal Game 6 at MSG, they would have Game 7 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, so they still have a shot, but a lot is working against them.

End of the day, they have to play better.

Best of the Rest:

Cleveland had six players in double figures on Sunday. Allen and Caris LeVert had 14 points apiece. Mobley had 12, and Cedi Osman had 10 points off the bench.

For the Knicks, Robinson had 12 points and 11 rebounds; Josh Hart added 19 points and seven rebounds.

Cavs succumb to hostile environment at MSG, routed by Knicks in Game 3

The Cleveland Cavaliers went on the road to battle the Knicks in Game 3 of their first-round series on Friday night.

Cleveland routed the Knicks in Game 2 107-90 to tie the series at 1. In Game 3, the MSG crowd fueled the Knicks, and they beat up and routed the Cavs 99-79 at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks led by as many as 27 points in this one.

The Knicks lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday at MSG.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Lime of the Cavs’ loss to the Knicks.

The Great:

The game is over, and that is the only great thing. Evan Mobley had a double-double(10 points and 10 rebounds), and Donovan Mitchell led the way for the Cavs with 22 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, but it didn’t matter.

Not So Great:

Shooting: The Cavs shot 39% from the field and 21% from deep(7/33). They could not make shots; it’s that simple.

Darius Garland was okay in Game 1(17 points and one assist) and was excellent in Game 2(32 points and seven assists), and unfortunately, he was bad in Game 3. Garland was 4/21 from the field, including 1/7 from downtown, to finish with 10 points. He was off on Friday, and playing in his first road playoff game at MSG got the best of him.

First Half: New York was not that great in the first half, but the Cavs were even worse. Cleveland shot 31% in the first half and 2/19 from three-point range. In addition, they had 12 turnovers. Cleveland scored 17 points in the first and only 15 in the second quarter. They were sloppy, they could not make shots, and it showed. The Cavs trailed 45-32 at the break.

Turnovers: Cleveland had 21 turnovers, which led to 28 points for the Knicks. Mitchell was the biggest culprit, with six turnovers. Just sloppy.

Let Brunson loose: In Game 1, Jalen Brunson had 27 points; in Game 2, the Cavs made adjustments, and Brunson had 20 points on 5/17 shooting, but in Game 3, the Knicks made adjustments, and Brunson got loose again as he had 21 points and six assists. He’s the straw that stirs the drink for the Knicks.

Bottom Line:

The Cavs could not handle the hostile environment in Game 3. That was a great environment at MSG. The celebrities were out, the ex-Knicks were out, and the fans were jacked up!

In Game 1, the Cavs played their first playoff game in a long time, and it showed. In Game 2, they settled in and played well. In Game 3, the Cavs played their first road playoff game in a long time, and it showed. Let’s see if they can settle down in Game 4. If they don’t, their season will end in the first round of the playoffs.

Expect a big bounce-back performance from Cleveland in Game 4.

Best of the Rest:

For the Knicks, R.J. Barrett had 19 points and eight rebounds; Josh Hart had 13 points, and Immanuel Quickley had 11 points off the bench.

For the Cavs, Caris LeVert had 17 points.

Cavs became the first team to score less than 80 points in a game this season.

Garland, defense help Cavs rout Knicks in Game 2

After stumbling and losing to the New York Knicks in Game 1 of their first-round series, the Cleveland Cavaliers needed to get a win in Game 2 on Tuesday night, and they did convincingly.

The Cavs led by as many as 29 points and would defeat the Knicks 107-90 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to even the series up at 1.

Game 3 is Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Knicks

The Great:

Darius Garland was not at his best in Game 1, but he was at his best in Game 2. Garland scored 26 of his game-high 32 points in the first half to go along with seven assists. He was 6/10 from the field in that first half, including 4/6 from deep. He was on fire! That is the Garland the Cavs know and love.

Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs in points in Game 1, but in Game 2, Mitchell did score 17 points, but he was more of a factor as a distributor. He had a career-high 13 assists; he got Garland and his teammates going.

Caris LeVert gave the Cavs a huge lift off the bench. LeVert got most of the minutes at small forward after Isaac Okoro was benched, and he scored 24 points—great minutes from LeVert.

Evan Mobley was much better in Game 2. He had a double-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and two steals; he helped with rim protection as he had two blocks. 

Defense: Cleveland had great defensive energy in Game 2. They held the Knicks to 37% shooting, and the Cavs created 18 turnovers, which led to 32 points. They were ferocious on the defensive end and got after the Knicks. Cleveland did a much better job on Brunson and Randle in Game 2, as they were a combined 13/37 from the field.

Second Quarter: Cleveland led 25-22 at the end of the first quarter; the Cavs exploded in the second quarter.

Garland had 15 points in the quarter.

They created nine turnovers, which led to 19 points, and led by as many as 20 points in the quarter. The Cavs outscored New York 34-17 in the second; from there, it was smooth sailing. 

Not So Great:

There is nothing to see under this section. Well, the turnovers were high(18), but they overcame it. We could put Okoro(0 points on 0/0 shooting) on this list, but he only played three minutes, so that’s not fair.

Bottom Line:

This was a great effort by the Cavs. They corrected all the mistakes in Game 1. Cleveland outrebounded the Knicks, Garland got off, and they defended well. 

As stated numerous times, we knew this would be a long series; we knew this would be a competitive series. Let’s see how Cleveland responds in Game 3 at MSG. The Garden will be a hostile environment.

Side note: Jarrett Allen was called for a flagrant one foul after attempting to block Julius Randle’s dunk attempt late in the game.  Was it dirty? No! Was it unnecessary? Probably. The game was out of reach(103-82 with 2:22 left in the game); in reality, both players should not have been the game. That could have been very bad for the Knicks, but Randle, who fell awkwardly, says he’s okay.

Best of the Rest:

For the Knicks, Randle had 22 points and eight rebounds; Brunson added 20 points. 

Allen had nine points, 10 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks for the Cavs.

Knicks grab Game 1 in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers began the postseason at home against the New York Knicks in Game 1 of their first-round series matchup on Saturday. The Cavs are in the postseason for the first time since 2018.

This game was close throughout. After the Cavs took a 93-92 lead with just over two minutes to go in the fourth, New York got some big shot-making from Josh Hart, who made a big three with the shot clock winding down to give the Knicks a 95-93 lead, and Jalen Brunson made a huge step-back jumper and driving layup, and the Knicks would take Game 1 101-97.

New York leads the series 1-0. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Cleveland.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Knicks.

The Great:

Donovan Mitchell was outstanding in his Cavs playoff debut. Mitchell scored 38 points(the most by a Cavs player in their playoff debut with the team), five rebounds, eight assists, and three steals. He scored 14 points in the fourth and brought Cleveland all the way back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, but it wasn’t enough.

Cavs 16-5 run in the Fourth: With 6:34 in the fourth, the Cavs trailed 87-77. Over the next four-plus minutes, Cleveland went on a 16-5 run. Mitchell scored 10 points during that run, and the Cavs took a 93-92, but again, it wasn’t enough.

Cedi Osman finished with only nine points; he had five of those nine points in the fourth and played some solid defense on Brunson; he played most of the fourth quarter for Cleveland, and Osman almost sparked the Cavs to a win.

Not So Great:

Rebounding: The Knicks pounded the Cavs on the glass; they outrebounded the Cavs 51-38 and had 23 second-chance points. They allowed a huge Randle offensive rebound with 06.9 seconds to go, which led to two free throws from Quentin Grimes that put the game away. The Knicks had seven offensive rebounds in the final stanza.

Three-Point Shooting: The Cavs were not that great from downtown, making 10/31 threes(32%).

Bench: The Knicks’ bench outscored Cleveland’s bench 37-14. Caris Levert was 1/7 from the field and finished with just three points.

Bottom Line:

The Knicks jumped on the Cavs early, played with more purpose, and closed the game the right way. Everyone knew this could be a long series, so for New York to win Game 1 is unsurprising. Credit to the Knicks; they pushed the Cavs around in this one and got big plays from Brunson, Randle, and Hart. 

Sidenote: Brunson is a lot better than people think. Look at the impact he had on the Knicks this season and the impact he had on the Mavericks in his absence.

In Game 2, Cleveland has to get more from its bench and be better on the glass. In addition, they have to get more from Darius Garland(17 points, one assist, five turnovers) and Evan Mobley(4/13 FG, eight points, and 11 rebounds).

Best of the Rest:

Brunson led the Knicks with 27 points(21 in the second half); Randle had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Hart added 17 points and 10 boards off the bench.

For the Cavs, Jarrett Allen had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Cavs are back in playoffs but for how long?

The Cleveland Cavaliers(51-31) are in the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and for the first time without LeBron James since 1998, which is not a surprise after the acquisition of Donovan Mitchell.

Now, they battle the New York Knicks(47-35) in the first round of the playoffs.  Game 1 is Saturday in Cleveland.

In the regular season, New York won the season series 3-1, including a win in Cleveland, but that gets thrown out the window. It’s the playoffs. 

Cleveland has all the things needed to win this series. They are the number-rated defensive team in basketball and have a go-to elite scorer in Mitchell(28.3 ppg). Don’t forget Darius Garland, a big-time scorer, and distributor(21.6 points & 7.8 assists per contest). In addition, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are ranked two and three in defensive rating. Plus, they have homecourt advantage, which should help as they have the sixth-best home record(31-10) in the NBA.

While they have been subpar on the road(20-21) this season, Cleveland has two things that do travel, an elite scorer and defense. 

For the Knicks, you can’t discount Jalen Brunson(24.0 ppg), who was remarkable in the playoffs for Dallas last season and was big-time this season for the Knicks. However, the uncertainty with Julius Randle’s(25.1 ppg & 10.0 rpg) ankle could be an issue, but he is expected to be ready for Game 1. In addition, New York has been outstanding on the road this season(24-17), including big wins in Memphis, Philly, Denver, and Boston(2x).

Both teams are near the bottom in bench points(Cavs ranked 28, Knicks ranked 26).

We can talk about Mitchell, Garland, Mobley, and Allen for the Cavs and Randle and Brunson for the Knicks, but there will be some unsung heroes in this series. For the Cavs, Caris LeVert(12.1 ppg) could be that guy and has picked up his play late in the season, while for the Knicks, Immanuel Quickley(14.5 ppg) could be the man for New York.


The 4-5 matchup is usually exciting and this will be no different. Plus, Mitchell almost being traded to New York is an interesting subplot.

The Cavs are the slightly better team, and have homecourt advantage, so expect that to be enough for Cleveland to win in 7, but it will be challenging.

Cavs secure homecourt advantage, get 50th win of season

The Cleveland Cavaliers(50-30) hoped to accomplish two things on Tuesday night as they began a two-game set in Orlando against the Magic(34-45).

First, secure homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a win, and next, win 50 games for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

Mission accomplished!

The Cavs defeated the Magic 117-113 at Amway Center. 

With the loss, the Magic are officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Magic.

The Great:

-Donovan Mitchell went over 40 points for the fourth straight game as he had 43 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

According to the NBA, Mitchell is the fourth player over the last 25 seasons to record four straight 40-plus point games.

After Paolo Banchero’s layup gave Orlando a 109-108 lead with just under four minutes to go, Mitchell would score six of Cleveland’s final nine points. He came up big when needed.

-Caris LeVert was huge for the Cavs, and he added 19 points, including five threes off the bench. With Cleveland trailing 109-108 with just under four minutes to go, LeVert hit a three that would give the Cavs the lead for good.

LeVert has been in double figures in 11 of his last 12 games.

Darius Garland had a solid floor game with 16 points and 10 assists. This was Garland’s 18th double-double of the season.

Not So Great:

Rebounding: Orlando did a solid job on the boards as they outrebounded Cleveland 47-30 and outscored the Cavs 14-4 in second-chance points.

Bottom Line:

Coming into this season, on paper, three teams in the East were better than the Cavs, the Bucks, Celtics, and the 76ers, and in terms of the standings, those three teams are better than Cleveland right now.

However, that does not take away from how great it is to win 50 games, which was expected after the acquisition of Mitchell.

With homecourt advantage, the Cavs will probably be the favorite when they face the fifth-seeded Knicks(likely opponent) in the first round, which should be a lot of fun.

For now, Cleveland should enjoy winning 50 games, but there is most definitely more work to be done.

What’s Next:

Cleveland concludes their two-game set in Orlando against the Magic on Thursday night.

Best of the Rest:

Evan Mobley had 14 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Jarrett Allen had 12 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks.

For Orlando, Markelle Fultz led the way with 23 points and eight assists; Banchero had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Cleveland was 15/31 from three-point range on Tuesday night.

Cavs clinch playoff spot for first time in a long time

On Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers were one win away from making the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and the first time without LeBron James since 1998. 

However, the Houston Rockets(18-57) stood in the way, but the Cavs had no issues. Cleveland led by as many as 20 points and defeated the Rockets 108-91 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, and now, the Cavs are in the playoffs.

The Cavs(48-28) have won four straight and six of their last seven; Houston has now lost five straight.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Rockets. 

The Great:

Jarrett Allen did it all for Cleveland. He tied a season-high with 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and provided rim protection with three blocks. This was Allen’s career-high tying 32nd double-double of the season.

Evan Mobley also did it all for the Cavs. He scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out five assists, and like Allen, he blocked three shots.

Donovan Mitchell had 22 points, including four threes and five rebounds; he was a game-best +24.

First Half: The Cavs got off to a strong start. They led 33-22 at the end of the first and took a 60-43 lead into the break. They were sizzling in the first half as they shot 58% from the field, including 46% from three-point range. They had an easy time making shots, which is unsurprising because the Rockets are not very good on the defensive end.

Not So Great:

Third Quarter: Cleveland pushed their lead to 20 in the third, but they let the Rockets get back into the game. Houston outscored the Cavs 37-25 in the quarter, and they allowed Houston to shoot 52% from the field. Cleveland led 85-80 at the end of three; the Cavs would eventually close things out in the fourth, but they let Houston stick around longer than they should.

Bottom Line:

The Cavs are in the playoffs!! It seemed like forever, but after a rebuild, Cleveland is back. None of this is a surprise. Cleveland became a playoff team the moment they acquired Mitchell from Utah. The Cavs are not a championship team, but they are dangerous and right on schedule.

Regarding the standings, the fourth-seeded Cavs are now 5.5 games up on the fifth-seeded Knicks in the East, so they will at least have homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Also, they are now two games behind the third seed, the Philadelphia 76ers, so maybe they can catch the 76ers, but as stated numerous times by this scribe, expect the Cavs to capture the fourth seed.

What’s Next:

Cleveland gets back at it on Tuesday night as they go on the road to face the Hawks.

Best of the Rest:

-Jalen Green led the Rockets with a game-high 30 points.

-Darius Garland had 17 points and a game-high eight assists; Caris LeVert scored 10 points off the bench. 

Cavs roll over Nets in Brooklyn

The Cleveland Cavaliers began a two-game set in Brooklyn against the Nets on Tuesday, and the first game went to the Cavs.

Cleveland led by as many as 24 points and defeated the Nets 115-109 at Barclays Center.

The Cavs(46-28) have won two straight and four out of their last five, while the Nets(39-33) have lost four straight.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Brooklyn.

The Great:

Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 31 points, including five threes. In the fourth quarter, Mitchell threw down a nasty dunk over Brooklyn’s Yuta Watanabe, which may have been one of the best dunks of the season.

Jarrett Allen returned after missing four games with an eye injury, and he was big-time. Against his former team, Allen had 12 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks.

Caris LeVert, another former Net, continues to play at a high level. He scored 18 points off the bench. In the last six games, LeVert has scored 15-plus points.

Second & Third Quarters: Cleveland trailed 30-23 at the end of the first quarter but took control in the second. The Cavs outscored the Nets 38-25 in the second and took a 61-55 lead at halftime. In the third, Cleveland started the quarter on an 8-0 run, and after a Mitchell three in the third, Cleveland had their largest lead at 84-60.

Cleveland would outscored the Nets 33-23 in the third and led 94-78 at the end of three.

Not So Great:

Isaac Okoro continues to struggle. In 20 minutes of action, he scored zero points on 0/4 shooting from the field; Okoro has not been in double figures in the last five games.

Bottom Line:

The Cavs continue to play well and continue to take advantage of the schedule. Three out of the four teams(Hornets 2x) the Cavs have beaten in their last five were against teams below .500, which is what you should do.

At this point, Cleveland(fourth seed in the East) must continue to take advantage of the schedule. Five of their final eight games in the regular season are against teams below .500, so winning 50 games seems inevitable, and most importantly, keeping homecourt in the first round also seems inevitable. (3.5 games up on fifth-seeded Knicks)

Best of the Rest:

-Mobley and Garland had 17 points apiece. Cedi Osman had 12 points off the bench. Cleveland had six players in double figures.

-Day’Ron Sharpe led Brooklyn with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie had 19 points and 11 assists. The Nets also had six players in double figures.

-The Cavs are 13-3 when six-plus players score in double figures.