CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers lost Tuesday night's game to the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA play-in tournament.
But they're not done just yet...
Here's a breakdown of what you need to know as the Cavs continue their push for a spot in the 2022 NBA playoffs.
If the Cavs would have won Tuesday night
Had they won Tuesday night, the Cavs would have advanced to the playoffs as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. That means when the playoffs begin on Saturday, they would be on their way to Boston for a first-round matchup with the Celtics.
What's next after losing Tuesday night
The season isn’t over just yet. This is the biggest luxury of clinching the eighth seed in the tournament. The Cavs essentially get two chances to win one game.
A loss Tuesday night means the team plays again this Friday with an opponent that will be determined on Wednesday night. The Cavaliers will take on the winner of the game between the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets. The Hawks are the higher of the two seeds, so they have home court advantage in their first play-in game.
Friday night’s game, which is also the same day of the Cleveland Guardians home opener at Progressive Field, is a true win-or-go home scenario for both teams. A win would mean a trip to Miami to take on the Heat in the first round of the playoffs, and a loss would mean the season is over.
What if the Cavs lose both play-in games?
While the season would be over, they would keep their first-round draft pick this year. The Cavs sent out a lottery-protected first-round draft pick to Indiana earlier this year in exchange for swingman Caris LeVert. If they Cavs end up missing the playoffs entirely, they would keep their pick. If they win one of the next two games, the pick goes to the Pacers.
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous Cavs story on March 7, 2022.