Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers are set to face the New York Knicks in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. However, while the Cavs have the better record and homecourt advantage, Kendrick Perkins thinks the ‘Bockers are going to come out on top in the series.
Perkins shared his prediction on NBA Today on Wednesday, saying that he has the Knicks winning in six games. That’s pretty close for sure, but it’s something the Cavs definitely won’t be pleased to hear.
“I actually got the Knicks in six. Here’s why. I know you guys [think] Donovan Mitchell is the best shooting guard in the game right now, but I haven’t seen [Darius] Garland or Evan Mobley when it comes down to the postseason,” Perkins argued before saying, “I’ve seen Jalen Brunson. I’ve witnessed Julius Randle. RJ Barrett has been there as well. But when I look at the others like Immanuel Quickley, and I look at [Josh] Hart and what he does for that team coming off the bench. And also a guy, my Texas boy Quentin Grimes who is balling, who is a sniper.
“They have the pieces, they have the identity and we know Tom Thibodeau is going to be prepared. That’s another thing that we have to watch in this match-up.”
The Cavs are making their first trip to the playoffs in the post LeBron James-era, so it’s understandable why the current core of the team doesn’t have any playoff experience. To be fair to Kendrick Perkins as well, the Knicks did win their season series with the Cavs 3-1.
However, it might be too premature for Perk to make such playoffs claim as early as now. After all, everyone knows that the postseason is different. Not to mention that Cleveland has been one of the best teams at home this 2022-23, going 31-9 so far.
Hopefully, though, Donovan Mitchell and the rest of the team use those doubts as fuel to shut down their critics.