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NBA playoff preview and tips: New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers welcome New York Knicks to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Tuesday for game two of their NBA playoff series.

The New York Knicks have been a tough nut to crack all season long on their travels, but still, a lot of people were surprised to see them pull off the upset in game one.
We touched on Cleveland being a mean defence in our game one preview, where we spoke about their ability to impose themselves and control the pace of the game. They did those things.
Despite holding the visitors to a low total, they lost the game 101-97. They did lots of things well, as did New York, but they smashed on the glass, recording 38 rebounds to the Knicks' 51.
There are adjustments the Cavaliers will look to make for this game, namely doing a better job of limiting the Knicks' second-chance points, but we're expecting it to be another tight tussle of fine margins.
Cleveland allowed New York to pull in 17 offensive rebounds, a number which is comfortably higher than the league's season average of 10, which ultimately proved costly.
A handful of those rebounds came later in the game, allowing New York to capitalise on second-chance points and deny the Cavaliers of extra possessions that may have given the score a different look.

Although we have to acknowledge and give credit to the defence, there's an improvement to be had on offence. Some of the Knicks' starters shot paltry numbers and were backed up ably by the bench.

Cleveland were able to reach 97 points because Donovan Mitchell scored 38. He took 35% of the Cavs total shots in game one and had minimal help from the supporting cast, who the Knicks were able to limit.
One huge issue that the Cavaliers have to figure out is Isaac Okoro or Caris Levert. Who is their fifth man? Levert is a defensive liability for the most part, so if he can't find a way to score, it's four on five. Okoro didn't trouble the Knicks in game one.

For some reason, New York continues to get little respect. The total was set at 216.5 for game one, and it's now set at 214 for game two after the low score. The Knicks won by four as a +5 underdog in game one and they remain a +5 underdog in game two.

New York can certainly produce much better on offence, whilst we've already seen the Cavs' main weapon and if he doesn't produce during game two, can Cleveland get other guys involved in the game? They haven't done so in losing four straight matches to the Knicks.

Standout Trends

Under is 17-8 in Cleveland's last 25 games as a favourite of 5-10.5 points.
Under is 7-2 in Cleveland's last 9 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Knicks are 37-15-1ATS in their last 53 road games.
Knicks are 27-11ATS in their last 39 games as a road underdog.

Suggested bets

Knicks +4.5

Under 214

READ MORE: NBA playoff preview and tips: New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers

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