3 biggest takeaways from the Cavaliers series loss to the Knicks

Cedi Osman and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Cedi Osman and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Takeaway No. 1: Shooting inconsistencies, lack of three-and-D wing

My biggest takeaway from the Cavaliers series loss against the Knicks was the lack of consistent shooting and absence of a three-and-D wing, outside Garland and Mitchell. We knew before the series that even if the Cavaliers won the thing that probably held them back aside from experience and not being good enough at wing, is they just don’t have enough shooting. The Knicks did a great job of exposing it and it’s pretty clear and glaring President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman will need to address this issue.

I’m not giving DG or Mitchell a pass for this series, but a big factor is with the lack of shooting and spacing, things were so much harder on them and the Cavaliers had a brutal time trying to score. Outside of those two, Cleveland doesn’t really have consistent knockdown shooters. Mobley hasn’t extended his range yet, Allen is a non-shooter and the Cavs would have big stretches where Okoro was on the floor with them.

One shouldn’t blame J.B. Bickerstaff for that choice, he simply didn’t have many options to choose from. Still when you have Okoro, Mobley, and Allen all on the court together together, New York was able to sag off those guys and pack the paint. It made things really difficult on Garland and Mitchell to operate. They didn’t really have anywhere to go with the ball and the Knicks quite often would throw extra defenders at them, daring those other guys to beat them from deep.

It was an issue that you could see in the regular season, and the Knicks completely exposed it. Furthermore it’s on Altman to get a legitimate three-and-D wing this offseason. No matter how dynamic the backcourt of Garland and Mitchell are, if you don’t really have anything at wing for extended stretches, it’s going to be hard to have a ton of success in the playoffs. The Knicks have pretty average wing play, but they were able to exploit the Cleveland’s biggest weakness.

Adding a three-and-D wing or two, or more shooting is the number one thing the Cavs need to address this offseason, via trade and/or free agency.

The good news is the Cavaliers have already addressed the hardest part of what you need to do to become a contender, and that’s finding the top end talent guys to anchor your franchise, now it’s just hitting on the margins and fixing the few flaws, which is doable. Seemingly rumored potential target Dorian Finney-Smith of the Brooklyn Nets, who have a glut of wings and are a team in transition, would make a lot of sense  and would do wonders for the Cavs.

Next. Cavaliers News: Bickerstaff staying, player accountability. dark

If anything, for Altman it’s clear where the flaws are that need to be addressed for this team to become a true contender.