The Cleveland Cavaliers will begin their playoff journey on Saturday against the New York Knicks at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Ahead of Game 1, Donovan Mitchell got brutally honest on what the Cavs must do to win this series: stop Jalen Brunson, who he believes is the “head of the snake.”
Via Knicks Videos:
“He’s there. It’s not just him, though, there’s Randle, Quick, Barrett but obviously Brunson is the head of the snake so we gotta go out there and find a way to contain him and make sure the other guys don’t go off but you know, it’ll be a lot of fun, this is why you play the game, for games like this.”
"He's there, we've got to get him. Jalen is the head of the snake."
– Donovan Mitchell on facing Jalen Brunson in the playoffs after last year's Jazz-Mavs series pic.twitter.com/whaKPRyiA7
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) April 14, 2023
Brunson was absolutely phenomenal in his first year with the Knicks, averaging 24 points per night and dishing out 6.2 dimes. While Julius Randle in particular is also very important, who averaged 25 and 10 in 2022-23, Brunson is the X-factor. If the Cavs can slow him down, they have a great chance of advancing. Sure, the likes of RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and Quentin Grimes can also get going, but they’re not going to win a series for New York.
After all, Donovan Mitchell and Co. have the top-ranked defense in the Association and will not make it easy on Brunson. He’ll need to work for every single basket, rebound, and dime. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Cavs do when it comes to shutting down this Knicks offense which thrived for a lot of the season.
Game 1 tips off at 6 PM ET in Cleveland.