Cavaliers to blame for Game 1 loss to Knicks, No. 2: Cavaliers bench
To win games, especially in the playoffs, you need your bench to contribute adequately. The Knicks experienced just that, as their bench of Obi Toppin, Isaiah Hartenstein, Immanuel Quickley, and Josh Hart scored 37 total points while shooting 13-of-23 from the field. Hart led the way with 17 points, making 8-of-11 shots, while also grabbing 10 rebounds to secure the double-double.
Then, there was the Cavaliers bench.
Running with a bench of Dean Wade, Cedi Osman, Ricky Rubio and Caris LeVert, they were only able to put up a grand total of 14 points. That’s right, 14 points while making 4-of-13 shots. Again, another unacceptable performance for the Cavaliers. Considering the fact that Cleveland lost by just four points, it makes the performance from the bench look even worse.
Look, it’s fine when your superstar player has a legitimately fantastic performance, but if they do so and still lose, you nitpick at what went wrong. The inability to put up points by the bench loomed large.