Ranking all 10 projected starters in Cavaliers-Knicks series

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

Players 5-1

No. 5: Evan Mobley

Evan Mobley is not only the other half of the Frobley duo, but he is a major favorite in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. With losing the Rookie of the Year race to Scottie Barnes, Mobley has made a major jump while Barnes hasn’t. Mobley can guard most of the players on the Knicks pretty well. Hopefully, the Cavaliers defense can quickly lock down the Knicks and lead to easy wins.

No. 4: Darius Garland

Darius Garland has been a terrific leader for the Cavs this season. He went from being a No. 1 option last year to willingly becoming a second option behind Donovan Mitchell. Under Mitchell, Garland missed out on going to the All-Star Game, but he hasn’t complained about his role. He has shown true leadership and has been a very steady playmaker for the Cavs as well. The Cavs are going to need this leadership while going against the Knicks.

No. 3: Julius Randle

Julius Randle has been through a rollercoaster while being on this New York Knicks squad. He went from making a great run in 2021 to not making the playoffs in 2022. He seemed to lose his motivation for trying to win, but that all changed when Jalen Brunson arrived. With him currently on the rise, Randle will be a crucial and scary piece of the Knicks starting lineup, in the event he’s at or near full capacity; Randle is reportedly progressing, involving his ankle injury.

No. 2: Jalen Brunson

The Dallas Mavericks have surely been missing Jalen Brunson this season. Brunson has been a fan favorite and the primary motor for the New York Knicks in his first year with them. He has great leadership experience after leading the Mavs against the Jazz last season when Luka Doncic was out. However, Brunson has a unique opportunity against the Cavaliers. He has the opportunity to take down the star that the Knicks missed out on in Mitchell, who they were rumored to have interest in pairing with Brunson.

No. 1: Donovan Mitchell

Mitchell has definitely made his case to be known as the best shooting guard in the league. He owns several Cavs single-season records, including having a 71-point game.

Mitchell has a much better cast around him than he had with the Jazz as well. Garland has been his best backcourt teammate and Mobley and Allen have been much better fits with Mitchell than Rudy Gobert. Mitchell has to help the Cavs get over the team that missed out on him, and hopefully, Mitchell can keep up his amazing play and turn it on during the playoffs.

Next. 5 games that defined the Cleveland Cavaliers 2022-23 regular season. dark

With this top 10 finished, let’s get ready to watch this exciting first round matchup. This first matchup is surely going to be interesting.