NBA Rumors: Cavaliers ‘Privately Hoping’ for Nets Matchup in 2023 NBA Playoffs

NBA Rumors: Cavaliers ‘Privately Hoping’ for Nets Matchup in 2023 NBA Playoffs
Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVMarch 17, 2023

David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly eyeing a first-round matchup against the Brooklyn Nets as they seek a deep postseason run.

“No one inside the organization would say this publicly—and they shouldn’t,” Chris Fedor of reported. “But multiple people I’ve spoken to recently are privately hoping for a Brooklyn matchup.”

The Cavaliers entered Friday fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 44-28 record, while the Nets sit in sixth with a 39-31 mark. Cleveland would either need to move up to the No. 3 seed or hope Brooklyn climbs to No. 5 to make this matchup happen in the first round.

The Nets are certainly less fearsome after trading away perennial All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving before the trade deadline. Ben Simmons also hasn’t played since mid-February due to back and knee issues.

Mikal Bridges has emerged as an offensive force since coming from the Phoenix Suns, averaging 26.1 points in 15 games, but overall the Nets are lacking star power.

The Cavaliers would be favored in this matchup as they close an impressive 2022-23 season. Donovan Mitchell has elevated the team into a legitimate contender while young players like Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland continue to improve each season.

While the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers all have much more playoff experience, the Cavaliers are as talented as anyone in the NBA.

Of course, the Cavs probably shouldn’t be picky about their postseason matchup after falling short of the playoffs in each of the last four years. The Miami Heat or New York Knicks could represent a tougher first-round battle, but the players and fans should be happy with their spot no matter what.

Read More

Author: Rob Goldberg

Leave a Reply