There’s been a lot of talk about the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks lately. The desire of Carmelo Anthony to play with LeBron James has caused many to speculate whether or not such a deal would be possible. With moving Kevin Love off the table and the core four seemingly untouchable, the logistics of a move seem like fantasy. Back in reality, the Cavaliers have a national game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. While the team has had... lazy outings there in the past, the Cavs have two players that love playing at The Garden under the national spotlight in LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (33-15) at New York Knicks (22-29)
When? 8:30 p.m.
Where? Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Where on my eyeballs? ABC
Things have changed since the last time these teams faced off. Last time the Knicks were 12-10 and one of the surprise stories of the early season. Since then the other shoe has fallen and the team is scrambling to get back into the playoff picture. However those hopes appear to be a long-shot, as the team looks to find a home for Anthony via trade to jumpstart their rebuilding process.
Despite their well-documented struggles, the Knicks still are a pretty good home team. Sporting a 13-11 record at home, they’re the type of team that the Cavs must avoid giving them hope early on. One of the signature traits of the Cavaliers is that you can always tell which version of the team has shown up within the first quarter. If they give the Knicks reason to believe they can steal a game, they are more than capable of hanging around and making a win harder than it should be.
On the injury front, Kevin Love will return to the Cavaliers lineup after missing the last two games with back spasms. Derrick Rose is considered questionable, and not just for his effectiveness on the court. The former MVP is dealing with a sprained ankle and will be a game-time decision.
While this should be a game that the Cavs win, it also serves as a good test for them. They’ve shown signs of turning things around over their last four games, but have struggled on the road this season. Over the next week the Cavs will face strong home teams in the Washington Wizards and Oklahoma City Thunder. A strong win in New York would go a long way towards developing confidence and getting this road trip off to a good start.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
I think we see Kyrie Irving break out of his shooting slump. He always performs well at The Garden and don’t have anybody that can consistently slow him down. One of the biggest things I’m looking for is how Kevin Love looks. I really hope the team hasn’t rushed him back as he hasn’t looked like himself for all of 2017. I expect a strong effort for the Cavs with LeBron getting a near triple double. Cavs win 115-98.