Happy Leap Day! To celebrate the leap year, the Cavaliers travel to New York City to face off against the Knicks. After a relatively disappointing loss last night against the Celtics, we'll see if the Cavs can bounce back and take down the Knickerbockers.
Song Of The Day: Daydream Believer - The Monkees
Rest in peace, Davy Jones.
Line: New York -10
Well, the Knicks have certainly changed since their 8-15 start and are now firmly planted in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. The emergence of Jeremy Lin (you may have heard of him) has propelled the Knicks back to respectability. The national media has been all over Lin as he made his surprising ascendence to stardom, so I'm sure I don't need to tell you much about him. Let's focus on some of the other aspects of tonight's game, shall we?
The Knicks also added one of my favorite players in the NBA -- JR Smith. Why do I love JR Smith so much? First of all, I think he's insanely talented and I kind of find it refreshing that he isn't one of these psychotic hyper-competitive guys. He's content with just shooting a bunch of threes and having some ridiculous highlights. It would drive me crazy if he were on my team, because I think he has all-star talent and that he just doesn't use it all the time, however, since he's on another team....it's just fun to watch. He gives the Knicks another weapon on the perimeter because he can shoot the lights out. However, he also has terrible shot selection and considering the other volume shooters on this team, it could make for a complicated situation.
I'm not entirely sure what to make of Amar'e Stoudemire at this point. He's lost a considerable amount of explosiveness and isn't really the player that he used to be. He's been riddled by injuries and seems to have a hard time staying consistent. Some of his early season struggles may have been caused by the lack of a true point guard on the court with him. After playing with Steve Nash for his entire career, the switch to Toney Douglas was probably a bit startling. With Lin running the point now, Amar'e has the opportunity to bounce back in a big way. Here's a question for you guys: would you trade Antawn Jamison for Amar'e Stoudemire right now? Amar'e is getting paid upwards of $18 million through the 2014-15 season. While he's obviously much better than Jamison, there is no way that I would make that trade because STAT is too injury-prone and takes up way too much of the cap room.
Carmelo Anthony came to be the big name in NYC, but now he's just in the shadow of LINSANITY (kind of). Knicks fans aren't always the more rational people, but some of them believe that Lin is already the better player. I'm what some people would call a "Melo-hater" and I think that's absurd. Carmelo is still a very good scorer that is having a rough year so far. While I think Melo ends the season with very solid stats, I don't think it starts tonight. We all saw what Alonzo Gee did to Paul Pierce last night, and I expect him to give Anthony a hard time once again tonight.
Tyson Chandler caused problems for Kyrie Irving last time these two teams played. He's big and takes up a lot of room in the paint. Just as Dwight Howard was able to disrupt some of Irving's drives, Chandler should be able to do the same thing. The Cavs have to try to take advantage of Stoudemire on defense and get their offense going with the Knicks' starters are resting because their bench -- well, their bench sucks.
Kyrie Irving vs. Jeremy Lin
What did you expect? Jeremy Lin has been on SportsCenter roughly 9438 times more than Irving this year, yet there isn't a single reasonable person that would rather have Lin on their team longterm. Kyrie has been doing some spectacular things all season while Lin gets all of the recognition. Hopefully, Irving comes out tonight and thoroughly outplays his counterpart. Now that I've said this, of course, Lin will score 59 points and have 28 assists while Kyrie shoots 0 for 29.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
I hate to be all negative up in here, but the weather in Boston has got me down. Well, that and the fact that when I look at these two rosters and the way that they've played recently, I just don't see the Cavs winning tonight. Losing Anderson Varejao hurts a bunch and the Knicks just have more firepower. Cavs leave Madison Square Garden with a 102-94 loss.
PS: Will we see more than 6 seconds from Manny Harris tonight?