Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (3-5) vs. New York Knicks (2-7)
When: 7:30 p.m. EST
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Where to watch: Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Friday’s win against the Washington Wizards wasn’t always pretty, but it was a step in the right direction. Gaining positive momentum and having the young core step up against lesser competition can help build good habits for when the competition is tougher.
The Knicks present the Cavs with the opportunity to build upon that momentum. Outside a second game against the Knicks, the rest of November is full of teams that will be in the playoff hunt.
New York has been lead by their trio of Marcus Morris Sr, Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett. The Knicks are 27th in both offensive and net rating. But like all young teams on nights when they’re hitting, the Knicks have a chance to win. However unlike the Cavs, they are without the veterans that can help lift a young core up through struggles during the course of a game.
As you would expect from a team that signed primarily power forwards, the Knicks are a strong rebounding team. In order to win the Cavs will need to make sure that they are not gifting the Knicks with extra possessions, particularly under the basket. Barrett is an especially good rebounder for his position, something that may be an issue when the Cavs are playing two-guard lineups.
Cleveland should be the better team here and I would expect their starting five to perform well once again. If Darius Garland can string together back to back quality games, it could help him get over the hump and make that unit even more effective offensively.
As long as the starters keep up the play they’ve displayed all season and the bench doesn’t completely fall apart, this should be a win for Cleveland.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Darius Garland lead the way to a 116-102 win.