How far will the Cleveland Cavaliers go in the NBA Playoffs? – Right Down Euclid mailbag

The playoffs are almost here but there’s still a lot of questions about how the Cavaliers will perform when things open up.
playoffs mailbag
CLEVELAND, OHIO – MARCH 31: Quentin Grimes #6 of the New York Knicks drives to the basket around Evan Mobley #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on March 31, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

All is quiet on the hardwood of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse as the Cleveland Cavaliers, and their fans, wait in anticipation for the start of the NBA Playoffs. To help everyone pass the time, Right Down Euclid opened its mailbag and answered your questions! We got several questions via email and submission through the site so let’s skip the semantics and dive right into it!

How far do you think the Cavs will go in the playoffs? Who do you think wins it all? – Greg T.

Empire Staters will point to the fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers went 1-3 against the New York Knicks in the regular season and say their team has the best chance. Clevelanders will interject that the Cavaliers only played the Knicks with a fully healthy starting lineup once and New York barely survived against it in Madison Square Garden.

Ignore all that. The regular season can give you insight into how things could go but it doesn’t paint the full picture. Let’s try and paint it together.

Both of these teams roll with a defense-first mentality. New York finished the regular season middle of the pack in defensive rating while Cleveland finished first. With that in mind and ample time for either side to prepare, it’s clear that this series will be a grind and a great test for either squad looking to prove their mettle in the Eastern Conference.

So, with that said, it all chalks up to how much ammunition either team has on offense to survive said grind. The Cavaliers finished the regular season eighth in offensive rating while the Knicks finished fourth. So, on paper, it would appear New York has the upper hand on Cleveland.

Not so fast, my friend!

The Cavaliers have much more star power in their starting unit, with Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen impacting everything on either end of the floor. For the Knicks, meanwhile, have Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle who isn’t 100% healthy. That’s another feather in Cleveland’s tricorne in figuring out this series and is arguably one of the biggest deciding factors in the playoffs

Unfortunately, for the Cavaliers, the allure isn’t going to be the only factor, and things get a bit precarious. To round out the rotation, Cleveland will play Isaac Okoro, Ricky Rubio, Caris LeVert and some mix of Cedi Osman, Dean Wade, Lamar Stevens or Danny Green. New York, meanwhile, has Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickly, R.J. Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson, Josh Hart, Isaiah Hartenstein and plenty of other young legs to run with the Cavaliers.

So, it’s going to be a bit of a tossup taking all of this into consideration. As of today, Cleveland is favored to win this series and I think it’s because of the superstars all over their starting lineup. It won’t be an easy outing, especially since it’s the first time for most Cavaliers. Don’t be surprised if Cleveland drops the first match on Saturday but, in the end, I have the Cavaliers winning this playoff series in 6 games over the Knicks.

For your other question, I think Cleveland loses to the Milwaukee Bucks in the following round of the playoffs in 5 games. Speaking of those Bucks, I think they will make it through the Eastern Conference Playoffs to the NBA Finals where they face, eventually lose, Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns in a thrilling 7 games.

Who should the Browns prioritize with the NFL draft quickly approaching? – Samantha D.

The Browns won’t pick in the first round but when things open up on the second or third day, I’m a fan of Ole Miss wide receiver Jonathan Mingo.

What do you think the depth chart will be for the playoffs? – Trey I.

I’ll keep it simple and clean for you like it’s a Kingdom Hearts trailer. Here’s the rotation (and minutes) I think the Cavaliers will utilize in the playoffs:

Darius Garland (38)Caris LeVert (32)
Donovan Mitchell (40)Ricky Rubio (10)
Isaac Okoro (28)Danny Green (10)
Evan Mobley (40)Lamar Stevens (4)
Jarrett Allen (38)

What are your political beliefs and do you have any recommendations for media sources that you find informative and trustworthy? – Brad H.

I’d consider myself pretty far left and align with the views of a dirtbag leftist. I’m frustrated with the mainstream left for being too passive and ineffective in challenging entrenched systems of power.

I’m frustrated that Joe Biden is ruining the environment with the Willow Project, destroying the rights of transgender individuals. His administration’s ignorance to the COVID-19 pandemic still going and killing thousands by declaring it “over”, kicking thousands of people off Medicaid during the same pandemic, the disaster in East Palestine, ignoring the no. 1 cause of death in children still being firearms, the lack of an actual response to women’s reproductive rights, giving $37 billion to law enforcement despite the slaying of innocent minorities and so much more.

If that doesn’t make you angry I don’t know what will. But, this isn’t me advocating for the right or whatever Donald Trump and his circus of fascists have formed it into. I fear what the future holds for myself, my family and everyone I know and love. The current administration and every politician don’t care about you or your well-being. They care about their corporate benefactors and the millionaires and billionaires of society exclusively.

It’s disheartening for plenty, myself included. But, in that frustration born during the insanity of the Trump years, I also became emboldened and decided that enough was enough. I educated myself on local and federal issues. I got involved by supporting whomever I could both individually and charitably. I used and continue to use my platform here and online to speak up against the dystopia we as a society we’re hurdling towards. I know it won’t stop the political machine from moving, but I will if I can make people aware of what’s going wrong in life.

That’s why I always and will forever advocate for people supporting local media as much as possible – especially independent ones. The Land is a wonderful website and newsletter that keeps me updated locally on what’s happening in our community. On a national level, I also enjoy the work produced at The Intercept and The Daily Beast.

I know I’m just glossing over some basic examples and there are plenty out there. But, I hope you check out their written work if you feel the same way I do. Also, check out Chapo Trap House, The Dollop, Behind the Bastards, QAnon Anonymous or just hit me up for more recommendations if you want to consume similar content in a different format and gain insight and perspective.

Evan Dammarell is a sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also email him at [email protected] He can also be found three to five times weekly on Locked On Cavs, a part of the Locked On Podcast Network.

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