The Cleveland Cavaliers will take their world domination tour to New York this afternoon for a tilt against the Knicks. The Cavs have won 15 of their last 17 games, and look nothing like the team the Knicks beat on opening night. The Knicks, on the other hand, have lost six in a row and have shut down Carmelo Anthony.
This is one of those early afternoon games where the Knicks are hoping that the visiting team stayed out a little too late the night before. Let's hope that wasn't the case.
Who: Cavs (34-22) at Knicks (10-44)
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
When: 1 pm Eastern
Television: Fox Sports Ohio
Enemy blog: Posting & Toasting
Music: I mean, obviously.
The newest member of the Knicks, Alexey Shved, has yet to suit up for the team, but he's expected to today. Shved was acquired from the Rockets at the trade deadline. Shved didn't see much action with Houston, but I'd assume that the Knicks can use him. For their game against the Heat on Friday, these are the five players they started: Jose Calderon, Langston Galloway, Cleanthony Early, Jason Smith, and Lou Amundson (!!!). Yikes.
For Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, this will be a homecoming. Shumpert spent his first three and a half seasons with the Knicks before being traded to Cleveland last month. Smith was also there for three and a half seasons. I don't think there will be a video tribute or anything, but I imagine that the New York crowd will show appreciation for those two guys.
Shumpert, it should be noted, is hitting 46 percent of his threes since joining the Cavs.
Over the years, LeBron James has had some of his most memorable games when he visits Madison Square Garden. Kyrie Irving has also had a couple of very memorable performances there, including earlier this season when he dropped 37 points and the Cavs escaped with a win. Hopefully this time, neither player will need to play enough minutes to put up huge numbers.
Every game down the stretch matters for the Cavs, so they can't look beyond the team that's right in front of them. They're a game behind Chicago for the third spot in the East, and three and a half games behind Toronto for second.
After this, they'll be in Detroit on Tuesday night.