New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Game 2 Betting Preview
The Knicks upset the Cavaliers in the series opener over the weekend, but the Cavs are favored to claim Game 2. With a key injury befalling the Knicks going into this contest, Cleveland will like its chances to even this series up at home.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks simply outwilled the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first game of their first-round series on Saturday, winning by a 101-97 margin. They outrebounded the Cavs 51-38 in that contest, grabbing 17 offensive rebounds to help overcome a 38-point performance from Donovan Mitchell.
In Game 2, the Knicks will look for a similar result, though they will need to overcome the likely absence of Josh Hart.
Hart suffered an ankle injury in the second half of Game 1, after scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 33 minutes. Hart shot 8/11 from the field in that game, but is listed as doubtful for Game 2. If he cannot play, younger players like RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes will need to step up to pick up the slack, after they combined to shoot 3/16 from the field.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had their chances to come back and beat the Knicks on Saturday, coming back from a double-digit deficit to take the lead in the fourth before faltering down the stretch.
Donovan Mitchell led all scorers in that game with 38 points, but he needed 30 field goal attempts to get there. Here, the Cavs will need a more efficient performance from Mitchell, and for some of his running mates to step up to even this series.
Specifically, Evan Mobley will need to be better in order for the Cavaliers to win this game and tie the series at a game apiece. Mobley shot 4/13 from the field in Game 1, scoring just eight points on 13 shot attempts.
While Mobley is influential in so many other ways, thanks to his rebounding and defensive prowess, Cleveland needs him to do more from a scoring perspective to get the edge on the Knicks.
Keys To The Game
The number one key to this game for the Knicks is figuring out their rotation if Hart is indeed out for this contest. If he sits, we could see more of Deuce McBride, or we could even see Evan Fournier take the court for a rare appearance in a meaningful game. Either way, Tom Thibodeau will have to adjust on the fly if a key part of his rotation is unable to go here.
On the Cleveland side, rebounding is easily the top priority for this must-win game. They were embarrassed on the glass in Game 1 despite having a huge height advantage with Mobley and Jarrett Allen on the interior.
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