The Cleveland Cavaliers will be with Luke Walton and C.J. Miles tonight. I figured I'd just get that out of the way so you guys can come to terms with it quicker. In all seriousness, it does hurt the Cavs' bench and makes them quite thin at several positions. The loss of Miles takes away one of the Cavs' best three point shooters, something Cleveland will need to combat the 495389 threes that the Knicks are going to take.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (24-54) vs. New York Knicks (51-27)
When? 7:30 PM Eastern
Where? Quicken Loans Arena -- Cleveland, OH
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass
Tickets? Cleveland Cavaliers tickets
Enemy/Brother blog? Posting and Toasting
The New York Knicks just had their 13-game win streak snapped by the Chicago Bulls. They didn't play particularly well in that game, but they're still red hot. Carmelo Anthony has scored lots and lots of points recently (although, again, he didn't play well against the Bulls) and will obviously be a handful for the Cavs' hilarious excuse for a defense. The Knicks are getting ready for the playoffs and will almost certainly play the Boston Celtics in the first round. Meanwhile, the Cavs are getting ready for the lottery and are simply trying to escape this hellish 2012-13 NBA season without anymore life threatening injuries. So, let's play some basketball!
The Knicks have had their own share of injuries this year. But a lot of that stems from the fact that they have an average age of 54.6 years old (don't Google that). They have Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace, Kurt Thomas, and Kenyon Martin ALL ON THE SAME TEAM. IN THE YEAR 2013. NO SERIOUSLY. Shockingly, they're all hurt. As of right now, the Knicks have Chris Copeland playing center. So....yeah.
The Cavs, on the other hand, are insanely young. Of course, the Cavaliers are not particularly concerned with this season. They have longer term goals in mind. The Knicks and Cavs make for an interesting contrast of roster makeup. One could argue that the Cavs have struggled to really form a team identity due to lack of solid veterans (that can stay healthy). One could also argue that the Knicks have had so many ups and downs due to the fact that they have way too many veterans (oh and they also have JR Smith). It's not an exact comparison, it's just interesting. It gets me thinking about the ideal makeup of a team. Clearly, you want a solid mix of young guns and savvy vets. But an overload of either could be disastrous.
As far as tonight's game is concerned, the Cavs may catch a bit of a break. They'll have both Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters available and the Knicks are coming off an overtime game last night against the Bulls. Raymond Felton also seemed to tweak his knee in last night's game, so he may not be at full strength. Waiters won't get a full workload, but Byron Scott intends to play him between 15-20 minutes, although he could play more if fouls and situation requires that he do.
I'm hopeful that the Cavs have a nice crowd tonight and that they put together a solid performance. Kyrie Irving certainly seems to enjoy playing against the Knicks. The biggest problem that the Cavs will have is defending the three-pointer (the Knicks take a TON of them) and defending Carmelo Anthony. Alonzo Gee will draw the unenviable task of guarding Carmelo, but he's the best shot that the Cavs have. As far as defending the three-pointer goes, the Cavs are probably screwed. The defensive rotations and communication are so off that team's seemingly get wide open threes whenever they want them. Maybe that will change tonight, but I'm not optimistic.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
The Cavs are going to play hard. I'm not too worried about that. Whether or not that's enough to beat the red hot Knicks remains to be seen. I'll say that the Cavs pull off the upset, 113-107.