An NBA executive explained what they thought was the Cleveland Cavaliers’ most significant issue with the Cavs in the 2022-23 NBA Playoffs, Cleveland.com sports columnist Terry Pluto wrote in a Sunday article.
“The Knicks were the more physical team, period,” wrote Pluto. “‘That’s true,’ a well-known NBA executive told me. ‘But that’s not their biggest problem.’
“OK, what is the problem? ‘The Cavs’ lack of shooting,’ he said. ‘That allowed the Knicks to shut down the middle and take away the inside game.'”
The Cavaliers shot at a 32.7% clip from 3-point range during their playoff series against the Knicks, good enough to put them at 12th among teams that made the postseason. They made 34.4% of their shots from 20-24 feet and 31.2% of their attempts from 25-29 feet, putting them in 11th and 15th amongst playoff teams in their five games against New York, according to NBA.com.
Cleveland shot at a 42.4% rate from beyond the arc during Game 2 of the 5-game series. They followed that up by making 21.2% of their long-range tries in Game 3, making seven of their 33 attempts from the 3-point arc as the Knicks pulled away with a 99-79 victory at Madison Square Garden.
Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley said the Cavs didn’t play with the grit and the urgency they needed in a 102-93 loss to the Knicks in Game 4, a game that saw Cleveland finish the night with 33 total rebounds. The Cavs would hit 26.1% of their 3-point shots during the matchup at Madison Square Garden.
Quenton Albertie ·
“I feel like we just didn’t really play with the grit we needed to play with and the urgency we needed to play with all the way through down the stretch,” Mobley said, via Bally Sports Ohio. “I feel like we turned the ball over early, and that got them going.
“We just have to protect the ball a little more and make better plays.”