With the NBA playoffs right around the corner, teams in both conferences are starting to get a clearer picture of who they could face off against in the first round of the postseason.
When it comes to the No. 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers, they’re currently in line to face the New York Knicks in the first round. However, according to a new report, multiple members of the organization are privately hoping for a matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.
“No one inside the organization would say this publicly — and they shouldn’t,” Cavs insider Chris Fedor wrote. “But multiple people I’ve spoken to recently are privately hoping for a Brooklyn matchup. It’s easy to understand why. Even though the Cavs, with homecourt advantage, would likely be capable of competing — and possibly winning — a seven-game series against any of the teams currently behind them in the standings, the Nets would be Cleveland’s easiest path out of Round One.”
It certainly is understandable why. Though the Nets still appear to be a playoff team, they are not at all the potential world-beaters that they were considered to be before trading away superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
The Nets are filled with talent, but they lack some important pieces. Moreover, many players on their roster are still getting used to playing with one another. Typically, teams that are still working out the kinks and trying to build chemistry don’t enjoy a huge level of success come playoff time.
As for the Cavs, they have the kind of chemistry that comes with playing a full season together. Despite the departure of Kevin Love, there has been very little turnover on the roster.
With that in mind, the team is going to need to get big man Jarrett Allen back from injury if it wants any real chance of making serious noise in the playoffs. Allen is currently out with an eye injury, though there’s a belief that he dodged a bullet regarding the severity of the injury.
Interestingly, the Cavs will face the Nets in consecutive games next week. It will be fascinating to see how the team approaches those games considering the fact that it seemingly could benefit from the Nets gaining a bit of ground in the standings.
Brooklyn is currently 1.5 games back of the No. 5 seed Knicks.