New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

@cavs on Twitter

New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

NBA

New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

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@cavs on Twitter

Tonight, the New York Knicks will go into Cleveland to take on the overachieving Cavaliers. After a rough stretch of games, the Knicks have found themselves at 6-4 in their last ten outings. RJ Barrett has seemingly found his way out of his slump, as he’s been on a tear during this stretch. However, with the inconsistencies, he’s shown throughout his career, who knows whether that’ll transfer over to this game against a gritty Cleveland defense. As for the Cavaliers, they’ve won six of their last seven, beating the likes of Utah and Brooklyn. The Cavs have beaten tough teams all year long, and they’ve proven they’re battle-tested enough to knock off an up and down Knicks squad.

How The Knicks Can Win Tonight-

The New York Knicks have listed Mitchell Robinson (sprained left ankle) and Kemba Walker (sore left knee) questionable for tonight, with Nerlens Noel having a high probability of playing despite having a sore left knee. It’s likely that Robinson sits tonight, as New York likely wouldn’t want to risk getting him injured due to his injury history. This, combined with Noel not playing at 100%, makes for a rough big man rotation tonight. Taj Gibson and Obi Toppin will have to chip in big-time to give New York a chance, with rookie Jericho Sims potentially getting spot minutes here and there to fill a potential void at center.

The Knicks’ formula to win tonight is rather simple. Julius Randle and RJ Barrett need to step up tonight, as both have been up and down all year. Barrett has been New York’s top contributor as of late, averaging 23 points and seven rebounds in the last ten. If he can keep that up and be this team’s engine, it will go a long way. Randle is coming off a 24 point outing against the Los Angeles Clippers, but the game before that, he had a rough four points on one for nine shooting. It’s imperative that Randle steps up tonight and plays like the All-Star he’s capable of being if New York wants to have a fighting chance.

The biggest X-Factor for New York comes in the form of Alec Burks. The Knicks have struggled this year finding good offensive players at the guard position, so Alec Burks needs to have one of his famous nights where he can’t miss a shot to provide for New York on the perimeter. If Burks can get hot early on, it’ll be hard to contain him. 

How The Cavaliers Can Win Tonight-

Lauri Markkanen and Rajon Rondo are out tonight, with soon-to-be All-Star Jarrett Allen being questionable. The Cavs have had a lack of depth at the guard position all year due to injuries, and Darius Garland has stepped up big time in Ricky Rubio and Collin Sexton’s absences. Garland has been one of the best floor generals in basketball this year, as his ability to spread the ball and score from anywhere on the court have made him one of basketball’s most impactful players. Garland has been nothing but consistent, developing into a top ten playmaker in the league. If he can get guys like Evan Mobley, Cedi Osman, and Kevin Love good looks as he always does, the Cavs’ offense could be firing on all cylinders.

Evan Mobley will have the Julius Randle assignment tonight, and in order for Cleveland to come out with the victory, he has to stick to him like glue. With Mobley’s length and IQ, he’s been one of the best defenders in the league since his first game. He should have no problem slowing down an on and off Julius Randle tonight. 

Overall, the Cleveland Cavaliers should take this game at home. Although New York has been steady on the road this season, Darius Garland’s consistency as an offensive player has helped Cleveland stay afloat despite their many injuries. He should be able to open the floor open for everyone and continue to let the offense flow. Expect Julius Randle to have another rough outing, as well as RJ Barrett’s hot streak to come to an end with Isaac Okoro on him tonight.

Cavaliers vs Knicks Spread Information via Fanduel-

  • Moneyline: CLE: (-320) | NY: (+260)
  • Spread: CLE: -7.5 (-110) | NY: +7.5 (-110)
  • Total: 203 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

Final Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers 107, New York Knicks 95

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