The NBA’s Eastern Conference has two main feel-good stories this season.
One is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have clinched their first playoff spot since LeBron James’ second departure.
The other is the New York Knicks, who have surpassed the expectations of everyone outside the Tri-state area to take fifth place in the East and clinch a playoff spot of their own.
In all likelihood, both teams will face off in the first round of the playoffs, and while plenty of people may be picking Cleveland in such a matchup, former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins is going with the Knicks in six.
The first playoff matchup is set and @KendrickPerkins is taking the Knicks over the Cavs 🗣️
"I got the Knicks winning that series in six."
(via NBA Today) pic.twitter.com/lcRQ6LiaHN
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 5, 2023
New York does have a couple of advantages, starting with experience.
While the Cavs don’t have many players outside of Donovan Mitchell who have been to the playoffs, most of New York’s main guys were on its 2021 squad that reached the postseason, and new star Jalen Brunson went to the Western Conference Finals last year with the Dallas Mavericks.
In addition, the Cavs are under .500 on the road, while the Knicks are 23-16 away from Madison Square Garden.
If the Knicks win one of the first two games of this matchup in Cleveland, the Garden will be jacked for Game 3 and Game 4, and they would have an excellent chance of going up 3-1 in the series given the Cavs’ road woes.
Mitchell could very well go off against the Knicks, given that he was incessantly linked to them last summer when he was about to be traded, so this matchup could be must-see television.NEXT: Steph Curry Reacts To Getting Andrew Wiggins Back In The Building