One stud, two duds for the Cavs from Sunday’s L to Knicks

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports) /
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If you take a look at how the Eastern Conference is shaping up, and how the playoff picture might play out, it’s going to be tough to stay among the top seeds. After Sunday night’s 92-81 loss to the New York Knicks, when they shot just 34.9 percent, the Cleveland Cavaliers sit in third place in the conference.

They’re two games behind the Milwaukee Bucks in second place, and four games behind the Boston Celtics in first. If last night is any indication of things to come, that third seed could become an eight-seed before before we know it, as the difference between the Cavs and the 10th-place team in the East (New York) is only four games.

Cleveland started out very sluggish, scoring only 16 points in the first quarter. From there, it never got much better as the Knicks led the entire game, and ended a five-game losing skid. New York was led by Jalen Brunson who had 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting. Julius Randle also pitched in 18 points, while RJ Barrett had 15.

After trailing by two at halftime, the Cavaliers couldn’t keep up with the Knicks and were outscored by five and three respectively in the third and fourth quarters.

Donovan Mitchell again led the Cavs in scoring, putting up 23 points on 8-of-22 shooting, but was just 2-of-11 from three. Darius Garland had a rough outing, scoring only 17 points, while shooting 3-of-9 from deep. Jarrett Allen missed another game due to injury, and it’s becoming a concern for J.B. Bickerstaff, who got zero points from two-way forward Mamadi Diakite, in 11 minutes.

With that said, here, let’s take a closer look at a stud and a couple of individual duds from the Cavs’ loss on Sunday to the Knicks.

We’ll start with the stud.