Cleveland Cavaliers head coach JB Bickerstaff revealed the importance of earning a home-court advantage to this Cavs team during Saturday’s practice.
“I think, for our guys, who are going through this experience for the first time, the more comfortable they can be, the better,” Bickerstaff said. “I think we’ve all seen the relationship our guys have with our fans and how important our fans are to our guys. How supported our guys feel.
“I do think it would be a huge benefit for us.”
According to ESPN Cavs reporter Danny Cunningham, the win against the Houston Rockets on Sunday would clinch a spot in the playoffs and a finish of no worse than fifth in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland has faced the Rockets once this season, prevailing in a 113-95 win on Houston’s home court despite guard Donovan Mitchell and forward Kevin Love being listed as “inactive.” Cavs guard Darius Garland and forward Evan Mobley stepped up in their stead, scoring 26 and 21 points as Cleveland alternated between wins and losses until the end of January.
The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets stand in fifth and sixth place in the East with seven and eight games remaining in the regular season. Cleveland owns a 2-1 record against the Nets and a 1-2 record against New York in 2022, most recently clawing to a hard-fought win over Brooklyn on Thursday.
The Cavs will take on the Knicks one more time in their seven remaining matchups in a late-March matchup at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
The Miami Heat fell to the seventh seed in the East following a 29-point loss to the Nets on Saturday. They sit at 0.5 games behind Brooklyn, while New York and the Nets are five games and 6.5 games behind the Cavs in the East standings.
The Cavs will tip off against the Rockets at 6 p.m. EDT on Sunday in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The game will be broadcasted on Bally Sports Ohio.