Nets Big Man Calls Out Cavaliers: ‘We’ll Take Care of Them’

Nic Claxton

Getty Images Jarrett Allen of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Nic Claxton of the Brooklyn Nets.

Nic Claxton is not worried if his Brooklyn Nets face off with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.

It was reported by Chris Fedor of that the Cavs would like to see the Nets in the first round of the playoffs, viewing it as their easiest route to the next round.

“No one inside the organization would say this publicly — and they shouldn’t. But multiple people I’ve spoken to recently are privately hoping for a Brooklyn matchup. It’s easy to understand why,” Fedor answered in his latest Q&A column. “Even though the Cavs, with home-court advantage, would likely be capable of competing — and possibly winning — a seven-game series against any of the teams currently behind them in the standings, the Nets would be Cleveland’s easiest path out of round one.”

It’s a matchup that is possible but probably unlikely. The Cavaliers are the No. 4 seed with eight games remaining on their schedule, trailing the No. 3 seed Philadelphia 76ers by four games. The Nets are in sixth place and face an uphill battle to move up, as they trail the fifth-seed New York Knicks by a pair of games. They’re also on a four-game losing streak.

But if the star aligned and the teams were to square off, Claxton would welcome the matchup against Cleveland.

“I heard something like that, too. I don’t know if they think it’s sweet, but we’ll match up with anybody,” Claxton said. “We just try to take it game by game, win as many games as we can, and get as high a seed as possible. If that’s our matchup, then we’ll take care of it.”

“I thought in the first quarter, the ball was sticky, it wasn’t moving. Defensively, I didn’t think we were competing at the level we needed to compete at. It just took us a minute to get into the game,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Once we started moving the ball, the game became simple offensively for us and everybody got involved. I thought we played Cavaliers basketball. I think that’s the way we’ve got to play.”

Donovan Mitchell Keeping Cavs Focused on Playoff Run

The Cavs’ weakness when it comes to their title hopes is their lack of playoff experience on the roster. But the team’s All-Star Donovan Mitchell came to Cleveland with some hefty postseason action on his resume. He’s played in 39 postseason games, averaging 28.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists in those matchups.

Mitchell has done some heavy lifting during his first year in Cleveland, averaging 27.4 points per game — good for seventh in the NBA. However, he’s also played a big role in keeping the locker room steady, not getting too high or too low.

“We haven’t done anything. The only thing is we have solidified the fourth spot for like three games. We lose three in a row and we’re not there anymore,” Mitchell said in early March. “We have a long way to go as far as proving ourselves correct. I wouldn’t say proving people wrong. I would say more about proving ourselves correct about who we can be.”

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