Quentin Grimes Calls Out Donovan Mitchell Ahead of Cavaliers-Knicks Playoff Series

Donovan Mitchell Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

With the regular season officially in the books, the Cleveland Cavaliers have until Saturday to prepare against the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference first round.

The series will be a continuation of the hotly contested regular season duels between the two teams. On the year, the Cavs went 1-3 against New York, including a 14-point blowout less than two weeks ago.

But Donovan Mitchell shined in that March 31 loss, so much so that Quentin Grimes, the Knicks guard primarily tasked with defending Mitchell, knows he must spend some time in the film room before the playoff matchup.

“He can do a lot with the ball. He can shoot the ball from super deep out, so you kind of got to pressure him up,” Grimes said of Mitchell. “I just have to lock in. I’ll watch more films for sure, gotta just watch his latest games, but he’s been on terror really the past four or five games.”

“So [I] got to watch more films to see what I did wrong and just kind of make corrections and hopefully prepare better for it when we see them in the playoffs,” Grimes continued.

Quentin Grimes + Obi Toppin + Immanuel Quickley | NY Knicks Media Availability (April 5, 2023)Quentin Grimes + Obi Toppin + Immanuel Quickley speak to the media after the New York Knicks win over the Indiana Pacers.2023-04-06T16:24:51Z

Mitchell finished with 42 points against the Knicks. But he wasn’t the lone standout, as Jalen Brunson eviscerated Cleveland for 48.

Donovan Mitchell Praises Jalen Brunson After Knicks Win

Mitchell was very nearly teammates with Brunson, with the Knicks heavily linked to the former Jazz guard over the summer. But the Cavaliers swooped in and landed the New York native.

While the Knicks might wish they had the league’s tenth-highest scorer this season, they’ve excelled in Brunson’s first year in the Big Apple.

After torching the Cavaliers, Brunson earned praise from Mitchell, noting it’s nothing new to see.

“I’ve seen this for years. I saw the same thing last year,” Mitchell told reporters about Brunson’s night, per the Cavaliers’ official YouTube channel. “He’s just shifty. He can get to his spots, different ways. The biggest thing is he had [nearly] 50, but he had nine assists. That’s the standout.

And for Mitchell, a playoff matchup against New York is nothing short of a personal dream come true.

“It’s a storybook [matchup],” Mitchell said. “It’s something that’s special and near and dear to me to be able to play playoff games in front of my friends and family. A team that I grew up watching. Against an assistant coach over there (Johnnie Bryant) who basically taught me everything I know at this point. It’s great, and I’m excited about the challenge.”

But the Knicks will be ready, including midseason acquisition Josh Hart.

Josh Hart Praises Donovan Mitchell

Hart has brought a swagger and cemented a defensive identity to the Knicks since coming to New York from Portland at the trade deadline. And teaming up with his Villanova teammate in Brunson hasn’t hurt either.

But Hart knows the assignment will be a tough one over the next few weeks, pointing the finger at Mitchell as the offensive instigator.

“The challenge is to make him not score the [expletive] ball,” Hart told Newsday. “That’s the challenge. In the league, you have guys that no matter what you do, no matter how good the defense is, they’re gonna make shots. That’s what happens, especially when you sign up to be guarding the best players.”

Is Grimes up for the tall task? According to Hart, yes.

“I don’t think [Grimes] got really discouraged over anything that he was making or myself. Once you do that, you lose, you know what I mean? Sometimes you just gotta make it tough for them, and sometimes they’re gonna have games where they score 45 efficiently, and games they’re gonna score 25 inefficiently. You have to take the good with the bad, and that’s the biggest thing with us. We just gotta make it difficult for him,” Hart added.

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