NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 29: Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers lays the ball up against Tyson Chandler #6 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 29, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
I'm not sure if you've heard, but Kyrie Irving is questionable tonight for the Cavs' game against the Knicks. If he doesn't play, which I'm assuming he won't given the lack of importance in this game compared to the importance of Kyrie's long-term health, there will be blood. Everywhere. So much blood. I think a little just came out of my ears simply thinking about this game.
Song Of The Day: I Want You (She's So Heavy) - The Beatles
The last time these two teams played the Cavs started the game on a tear, jumping out to a large lead by halftime. Then they succumbed to the numbing sensation that is Steve Novak. Jeremy Lin's been out for the last three games, and will probably be out again tonight, along with Amare Stoudemire, who has been out for the past few games with a bulging disc, and will likely miss much of the rest of the season, if not all of it. Nonetheless, the Knicks have been playing well lately, winning 8 of their last 10, but coming off of a loss to Atlanta.
With Kyrie likely out, Donald Sloan will almost certainly be getting the start and will see a lot of playing time, given he's really the only other point guard on the roster. This should tell you just how badly this game will go for the Cavs. I guess we'll see just what he can do given ample playing time. I'm haven't been particularly thrilled with him the past couple games after a pretty good start on the team. Hopefully Iman Shumpert won't be guarding him, or else this could get ugly. Shumpert's just too good defensively, especially compared to any other player that would be guarding Sloan on the Knicks' roster.
Alonzo Gee will be charged with the task of guarding Carmelo Anthony tonight. He's regularly been drawing the toughest defensive assignments and performing well, given his lack of experience. We'll see if he can build on his excellent offensive performance from last night, where he racked up 19 points on 9-11 shooting. We'll be relying on him and Antawn Jamison a lot tonight to create offense, given Kyrie's absence. Antawn's been absolutely terrible lately, averaging 13 and 6 on 34% (!!!) shooting. That. Is. Awful. Maybe the increased usage he'll see tonight will get him back on track. If not, hooray for ping-pong balls!
Tristan Thompson played well last night, getting 15 and 11 on 6-11 shooting. He's been shooting a much better percentage on his free throws lately, which is an excellent sign for his future offensive potential. He still tends to throw up some ridiculous shots, but he has been improving his shot selection. Hopefully he won't regress to taking even more awful shots without Kyrie out there. He'll be drawing Tyson Chandler as his matchup tonight, which could bode poorly for his offensive performance, given Chandler's defensive prowess. But then again, I thought the same would be true of him playing against Dwight Howard, but he held his own in that contest.
Alonzo Gee vs. Carmelo Anthony
Basically everything I already said. If Alonzo contains Carmelo, the Cavs could have a chance of winning... pfft. Sorry. I just couldn't hold it in.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Blood. Everywhere. But hey, ping-pong balls! Whoo!! My prediction is a beatdown from the Knicks, to the tune of 102-87.