Cavs could be without 7 players ahead of Sunday’s matchup vs. Knicks

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Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to start another win streak. But that might be a bit of a challenge, as they will face the New York Knicks on Sunday short-handed.

Seven of their players are listed on the team’s injury report, with two players questionable to play because of their respective injuries. Donovan Mitchell is dealing with left knee soreness, while Caris LeVert has a sprained elbow.

Five of them have already been declared out. Backup point guard Ty Jerome is recovering from surgery on his right ankle. Meanwhile Emoni Bates, Isaiah Mobley and Pete Nance are playing in the G League, and Tristan Thompson is in the middle of serving a 25-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.

The Cavs are competing for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, and their division rivals, the Milwaukee Bucks, are hot on their trail. So, if the team wants to end the regular season with only the league-leading Boston Celtics ahead of it in the East standings, it has to treat each of its remaining games with importance.

Hopefully, Mitchell and LeVert can make it to the floor when Cleveland faces off against its tormentor from the 2023 playoffs.

As many fans might remember, New York dashed the Cavs’ hopes last year when they made a return to the playoffs after a four-year absence. Cleveland could only muster one win against the Knicks in the first round, as they limited Mitchell to 23.2 points per game on a 43.3 percent shooting clip in those five games. Darius Garland and LeVert tried to provide some offensive help but weren’t able to do too much.

The Knicks’ stingy defense against the Cavs has continued this season. Through two meetings against the Knicks, Cleveland has scored 93.0 points per game. The regular-season series is tied at 1-1, with the battle on Sunday being their final scheduled matchup.

On a positive note for the Cavs, New York is also dealing with the injury bug. Three of its core players, O.G. Anunoby, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, will be in street clothes.

Cleveland is coming off a win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday. Prior to that contest, it suffered a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls.

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Orel is a freelance writer who is passionate about the NBA. He has followed the league since the late '90s and found increased interest in it in 2003 – when an 18-year-old prodigy from Akron, Ohio took the league by storm.