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Game Preview: Knicks at Cavaliers, October 31, 2023

Playoff rematch between two teams struggling for different reasons

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Usually, when we have a rematch of a playoff series early on in the season, there tends to be a good amount of anticipation. Aside from the narratives and the rivalry, the teams and fanbases are anxious to see how the teams’ new players look against a familiar foe and want to see if there have been any noticeable adjustments on either side. And because of that, it was only natural for fans, analysts, and players alike to look forward to the upcoming Cavaliers-Knicks matchup. But unfortunately, we may have to wait a bit to get all the answers we were looking for as neither team looks like the best versions of themselves.

The 1-2 Cavaliers limp into tonight’s game with a few injuries with both Darius Garland (hamstring) and Jarrett Allen (ankle) already being ruled out and Donovan Mitchell, who has started out the season incredibly hot, being listed as a game-time-decision with a hamstring ailment of his own. The Knicks, who are also 1-2, have Julius Randle, who is coming back from ankle surgery and doesn’t quite look right. But unlike the Cavaliers, they don’t really have multiple injuries as built-in excuse they can fall back on. In fact, they’re pretty healthy and have just played badly in their two losses.

But regardless of who is hurt, and how bad the teams may be playing right now, this game is still an important one between two playoff teams looking to right the ship and secure a win against a team they could end up in a tight seeding race with down the stretch.

Projected Starters:

New York Knicks:

G- Jalen Brunson

G- Quentin Grimes

F- RJ Barrett

F- Julius Randle

C- Mitchell Robinson

Cleveland Cavaliers:

G- Caris Levert

G- Max Strus

F- Isaack Okoro

F- Dean Wade

C- Evan Mobley


With how inconsistent and sloppy the Knicks have been to start the season, it’s not easy to predict a clean, dominant Knicks win, regardless of how banged up the Cavaliers currently are. I mean, we’ve seen New York inexplicably get killed by players like Levert and Georges Niang, and let’s be honest, it would be a very Knicks-esque thing to do to lose to a hobbled Cavaliers team that is coming off of a loss to the Indiana Pacers. That being said, New York should still have the talent and depth to defeat Cleveland. I don’t think it’ll be pretty and I don’t think it’ll be extremely convincing, but a win is a win. Knicks take it 106-100 with Brunson getting back on track.

Game Details:

Who: New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers

When: 7:30 pm EST, Friday, Oct. 31

Where: The Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH

Watch: MSG Network, TNT

Follow: @ptknicksblog