On Tuesday night, the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers will face off in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference NBA first-round series at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. In the first game, the Knicks won 101-97, and they’re hoping to keep the momentum going and take a 2-0 lead back to New York.
If you’re wondering who to bet on, Phil has got you covered. Check out his preview and best bet for the game between the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers on April 18th.
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Game 1 Recap
Cleveland failed to cover the -6 spread, and the total ended Under the 216.5 Vegas closing line.
The Cavaliers had an early, two-point lead, but New York led the rest of the way and took Game 1 of their best-of-seven series. Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 27 points, Julius Randle scored 19 with 10 caroms, and Josh Hart chipped in with 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the underdog Knickerbockers to their upset win.
Cavs guard Donavan Mitchell led all scorers with 38 points and a team-high eight dimes. Darius Garland added 17, and Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen recorded a double-double, with Allen pulling down a game-high 14 boards.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) April 15, 2023
The Knicks surprisingly dominated the boards (51-38), including a 17-11 disparity on the offensive glass. New York also shot 19-22 from the charity stripe, which was the difference in Saturday night’s contest.
Game 2 Odds
New York is a +4.5 away underdog with a 214-point total when they face Cleveland for Game 2. Tip-off time at Rocket Mortgage Arena is set for 7:30 pm, and the game will be televised on TNT.
Phil’s Best Bet: Cavs -4.5 -110 (Caesars)
The Cavaliers were flat from the tip-off, never figured things out, but still nearly beat the Knicks Saturday. Cleveland will hammer New York Tuesday night, and I like the Cavaliers to cover the -4.5 spread.
Cleveland played as poorly as they possibly could and only lost Game 1 by four points. The Cavs were awful on the offensive end of the floor–Mobley was 4-13 from the field, Garland committed five turnovers, Caris LeVert shot 1-7 from the field, and Isaac Okoro was 1-6 shooting inside the arc.
New York received a massive boost from Randle returning from an ankle injury that cost him the final two weeks of the regular season. He was 3-10 from downtown and had trouble getting up and down the floor in the 2nd half, but he was tough inside–Randle grabbed 10 caroms but did commit five turnovers.
Julius Randle says he was "tired as hell" tonight:
"You see me breathing out there today?" 😂 pic.twitter.com/K9fqrlC5mF
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) April 16, 2023
Cleveland should’ve won Game 1, and I believe they will easily cover the -4.5. The Cavs played about as poorly offensively as possible and nearly beat New York.
The Cavs’ defense was solid Saturday, but they need to do a better job of boxing out on the defensive end of the floor as they did during the regular season–the Cavs allowed the 9th fewest offensive rebounds per game. If they can keep Hart and Mitchell Robinson off the glass, and they will, the Cavs will cover the -4.5.