Cavaliers Projected Starting Line-Up:
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Manny Harris
SF: Anthony Parker
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Tristan Thompson
The New York Knicks are headed to Cleveland tonight to take on the lowly Cavaliers. In this game, Amar’e Stoudemire will return to the lineup and will start after missing 13 games due to a back injury.
The Knicks are gearing up for the post-season and with their ticket already punched, they need games like this one to figure out Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. The Cavs should not present problems for the Knicks, so this is a great chance for the two superstars to get familiar with each other.
The Cleveland Cavaliers do not have much going on in their frontcourt and their only reliable option is Antawn Jamison. Jamison is a veteran forward and can at times shine on this roster. He can stretch the floor with his shooting and can crash the boards and help the other big men. This season Jamison is averaging 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. The other players in the frontcourt are specialty players and do not offer the team much. Anthony Parker can sometimes be the leading scorer for this team, but he is mostly counted on for his three-point shooting. If the Knicks can get him off to a slow start, he should do much too much damage. As for the rookie Tristan Thompson, he is used for his rebounding ability and hasn’t developed his game enough to be a defensive target.
The one bright spot on this Cavs team is the explosive rookie Kyrie Irving. Irving has everything a coach would want in his point guard. He has speed, agility, shooting skills and most importantly leadership. However, Irving is coming off an injury and is still a little rusty. This season Irving has been averaging 18.6 points and 5.6 assists; if one player can beat the Knicks, it’s him. The Cavaliers also have Manny Harris someone who doesn’t score a lot of points, but is often the recipient of a lot Irving’s passes.
Keys to Victory:
1- Focus more on Anthony and Stoudemire- The Knicks need to have these two players on the same page if they want to make a deep playoff push. Although they have struggled at times together, they can surely help the Knicks beat the Cavs. In this lopsided game, the Knicks should make assimilating Stoudemire into the offense as the number one priority.
2- Don’t let the Cavs gain confidence- The Knicks need to put the Cavaliers away early, or else they may lose this game. The Knicks clearly have a better team and they worst thing they can do is allow the Cavs to think they can win the game.