The Knicks and Cavs were expected to be one of the tightest first-round series of the 2023 NBA playoffs, and so far, that looks to be true. The Knicks won a tight game one, and the Cavs bounced back to take a much easier win in game 2.
The Knicks are outscoring opponents by an average of 2.9 points per game with an overall +240 scoring differential. They score an average of 116 points per contest while giving up 113.1 per outing (12th).
The Knicks dominate the rebound battle by an average margin of 4.6 boards per game, recording 46.6 boards to rank second, while their opponents manage only 42 per game.
New York ranks 11th in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 35.4% (36.4/36) per game – while its opponents make 13 threes at an average 35.7% rate from long range.
The Knicks rank sixth in scoring at 114.9 points per 100 possessions on offense and give up 111.7 per 100 (fifteenth).
The Knicks have seen marked improvements on both offense (117.3 PPG) and defense when playing at home (113 PPG allowed) when compared with road games (112. 2 PPG allowed).
The Cleveland Cavaliers have outscored opponents by an average of 5.4 points per game and boast a +441 scoring differential overall. They average 112.3 points per outing (25th in NBA) while permitting just 106.6 per contest (first).
Cleveland ranks 25th in the NBA with 41.1 rebounds per game – comparable to its opponents average (41.2).
The Cavaliers rank 19th in the NBA by shooting 36.7% from beyond the arc per game (19th overall), and this compares with an opponent rate of 36.8% made three-pointers.
The Cavaliers rank 10th in the NBA in scoring efficiency at 113.7 points per 100 possessions on offense and are first defensively by allowing only 107.7 points per 100 possessions.
Cleveland currently scores more points at home (113.2 per game) than on the road (111.3).
This has been an unpredictable series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks thus far, as evidenced by Game 1 being taken away from them in Cleveland on a grinding out contest 101-97, while then on Tuesday night the Cavs led from start to finish to score an emphatic 107-90 victory on their home court.
Now the series shifts back east and heads to Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Knicks boasted an impressive 23-18 record at home during this season compared to 20-21 for Cleveland on the road this season. Expect MSG to be rocking!
As in Game 1, we anticipate another tight contest with plenty of exciting action. Take the Knicks to cover in a tight one.
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