Cleveland has a real shot at moving up to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with just a handful of games left in the regular season. It seems like the organization has its eyes on doing just that.
I honestly think there is a path to it. Perhaps more of a path than some realize or are willing to see. And, make no mistake, the #Cavs know exactly where they stand, how far back they are. And they want it. https://t.co/lyktfWHpb5
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) March 28, 2023
As it stands right now, the fourth-place Cavs would have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs against the fifth-place New York Knicks.
It was recently reported that some within the Cavs organization are privately hoping to face off against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. The Nets are currently in sixth place, though they have the same record (40-35) as the Miami Heat.
When asked recently about a potential playoff matchup against Cleveland, Nets center Nic Claxton offered a confident statement.
Nic Claxton on the #Cavs reportedly wanting to face the #Nets in the playoffs: "We'll match up with anybody. We’re just trying to take it game-by-game, win as many games as we can & get as high a seed as possible. And if that's our matchup, then we'll take care of them.”
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) March 21, 2023
If Cleveland can move up to the third seed, it could end up getting its wish and facing off against the Nets. The final stretch of the regular season projects to be kind to the Cavaliers, as they have the second-lowest strength of schedule remaining, per Tankathon.
Something interesting to note is that the Philadelphia 76ers, who are currently in third place in the East and have a 1.5-game lead on the Cavs, have the second-toughest remaining schedule in the league.
The Eastern Conference might look a bit different next week if results go certain ways.
Regardless of where they end up, the Cavs are undoubtedly happy that they’ll be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2018. Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse will surely be rocking during the team’s first home playoff game next month.
At home during the playoffs, the Cavs have an all-time record of 77-36. On the road, that record switches to 48-68.
This season, Cleveland has a 30-8 record at home, which ranks fourth in the entire league. The squad has made its home court a fortress all season long and will look to continue that in the playoffs.
Cleveland’s next contest will be on Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks.