Cavaliers @ Knicks: MSG 730pm
The New York Knicks 17-5 continue their home stand at MSG against the 5-19 Cleveland Cavaliers. I hope the Knicks and NYC tonight take a moment of silence for the families and victims of the horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
The Knicks are coming off a terrific shooting night against the dysfunctional LA Lakers. NY might not have the presence of Carmelo Anthony in their lineup. Melo rolled his ankle in the 3rd quarter and did not return to the game Thursday night. His injury doe not seemed to be serious, but precautionary measures will be taken and Melo might be out
The Knicks need to do a few things to get this win and continue their terrific season:
1) Keep the ball moving on the offensive end. Without Melo the Knicks will need to move the ball like they did against the Miami Heat last week. Sharing the ball to the open shooters will make the offense hum. If Melo does play, the Knicks can still run their offense with solid ball movement and get the ball to the open man, one step ahead of the ball.
2) Defense man to man. The Knicks will be up against the likes of, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejeo. Inside the Cavs will have the rebounding and energy bunny, in Varejeo. He has been a monster on the boards so far this year. Kyrie Irving was drafted out of Duke, only playing in 10 total games. That did not stop the Cavs from taking him number 1 overall. He has not disappointed. He has a few injures in his first 2 years on the league, but his upside and present play is tremendous. Raymond Felton will have his hands full; however Raymond can bully him around and play up on him only if Ray keeps Kyrie in front of him.
3) No defensive switching. The Knicks have been winning the early part of the season obviously, but their defense the last week has been a little under par. They need stay dedicated to man to man and stop switching into bad match-ups. Early on in the season they did not switch, resulting in top 10 defense. The last 2 weeks the Knicks have looked tired and beat up, which has made them switch on defense . This cannot happen tonight and in the future if the Knicks want to be a top 5 defense.
Overall, The New York Knicks were beaten last year by the Cavs during some important stretches of the season, especially the last week of the season which could have helped them avoid the Miami Heat in the first round.
New Year and New team. This time around the Knicks should handle their business and blow away the Cavs early on in the 1stst half. Melo or not, the Knicks should play their game and make other teams dictate the style and tempo they want to play and remain undefeated at home this year. Let’s Get It!
Peter A. Knickswag Chief