Cleveland Cavaliers head coach JB Bickerstaff highlighted the opportunities that came with the Cavs’ first playoff series since the 2017-18 season, Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor wrote in a Friday article.
“We can say what we want to and I can give you all the coach speak you can handle, but from both sides, there’s an understanding of the moment,” JB Bickerstaff said. “The greatest players, the greatest teams, they always understand the moment and can raise their selves to that.
“This is a great opportunity for our guys. Not many of them have been in these positions to raise themselves to a level and see what we’ve got.”
The Cavaliers and the Sacramento Kings, who sealed their first playoff series since the 2005-06 season with a 40-point win over the Portland Trail Blazers, will have plenty to prove when they take on their respective challengers in the NBA Playoffs.
Cleveland has already taken on every one of its most formidable remaining opponents, finishing the month of March with a 1-1 split with the Boston Celtics and a nine-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Cavs center Jarrett Allen’s last appearance in the playoffs came in the 2019-20 season, when the Toronto Raptors swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. It will be the first-ever playoff series for three young starters in forward Evan Mobley, Isaac Okoro and guard Darius Garland. Both guards Danny Green and Donovan Mitchell made a postseason run in 2022 with the Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz, respectively.
The New York Knick’s fifth-place spot in the East puts them on track to face the Cavaliers in the playoffs. Cavs fans may be familiar with Knicks guard Derrick Rose, who played against Cleveland in postseason series during the 2009-10 and 2014-15 seasons as a member of the Chicago Bulls.
The Cavs will tip off against the Knicks at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Friday in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The game will be broadcasted on Bally Sports Ohio.