New York Knicks: How the Knicks matchup vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

The New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers are in two different phases of their franchise history. The Knicks are in a win-now mode and believe their championship window is open now and need to seize that opportunity. On the other hand, the Cavs are smack in the middle of their rebuilding years after LeBron James…ah I’m not even going to bother. The Knicks are primed for a playoff run meanwhile even though the Cavs are young and developing, who knows if they sneak in the playoffs as a low seed. Let’s take a look at the head-to-head matchup if the Knicks and Cavs bump heads in the playoffs.

Apr 23, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (2) dribbles the ball up the court during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. Memphis Grizzlies defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-101. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Point Guard: Jason Kidd/Raymond Felton/Pablo Prigoni vs. Kyrie Irving/Donald Sloan

Kidd and Felton need to navigate this offense and give the Knicks a strong point guard presence. Kidd is a leader and knows how to get things done at a championship level while Felton has the talent to be an above average point guard in this league. Kyrie Irving is far from a veteran but has the talent to become an elite point guard for many years to come. I would take Kyrie over both the Knicks point guard. I actually met Kyrie this summer in the Bahamas and he is an awesome guy who seems levelheaded and will not let the fame and success get to him.

Advantage – Cavaliers

Shooting Guard: J.R. Smith/Iman Shumpert/Ronnie Brewer vs. C.J. Miles/Daniel Gibson/Dion Walters

Both these shooting guard squads aren’t the best in the league. This is the Knicks weak spot in their roster with J.R. Smith the only healthy player. Iman Shumpert is the best player out of these six but he will not be on the court to start the season. Miles and Daniel “Booby” Gibson aren’t two players to write home about. The Cavs are looking for huge things from Dion Walters seeing they drafted him with the 4th overall pick. The Syracuse product will take a while to develop but the Cavs are hoping him and Kyrie become a strong backcourt duo for years to come. I have to give the Knicks the advantage over the less proven Cavs, especially when Shumpert is healthy.

Advantage – Knicks

Small Forward: Carmelo Anthony/Steve Novak vs. Alonzo Gee/Omri Cassipi/Kelenna Azubuike

This one is really a no brainer. The Cavs have a trio of guys who aren’t too good and might have hit their ceiling already. Alonzo Gee is really the only one who can be a middle of the road NBA player. I don’t need to tell you about Carmelo Anthony. Melo is one of the league’s best scorers and a superstar. Not many can keep up with him.

Advantage – Knicks

Power Forward: Amar’e Stoudemire/Kurt Thomas vs. Tristan Thompson/Samardo Samuels

May 6, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire (1) shoots a free throw against the Miami Heat during the second half of game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 89-87. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

The Cavs used their 4th pick in 2011 on Tristan Thompson hoping him and Kyrie Irving will be corner stones for the future. I think Thompson will be a very good pro averaging 8 and 6 in his rookie year. He can only go up from there when he figures out the game seeing he is only 21 years old. But for now Amar’e has the advantage. He is one of the best power forwards in the league and will have a bounce back year.

Advantage – Knicks

Center: Tyson Chandler/Marcus Camby vs. Anderson Varejo/Tyler Zeller

Anderson Varejo is very good NBA big man. Him and that LeBron guy worked well but not good enough to keep him from playing with Chris Bosh. Zeller is going to be the 4th 1st round pick in 2 years for the Cavs as they rely on youth and development to lead them back into the playoffs. The Knicks have no unproven youth in the center position with Tyson Chandler and Camby on the roster. Tyson might be the 2nd best big man in the league behind Dwight Howard while Camby is a veteran who has been consistent his whole career. Tyson Chandler is probably the best center in the East, Varejo can’t keep up.

Advantage – Knicks

Coaching: Mike Woodson vs. Bryon Scott

Byron Scott has enjoyed a pretty successful NBA career. As a player he won 3 championships with Magic Johnson and the Lakers. He translated that into early coaching success by taking the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back Finals appearances. Scott than won NBA Coach of the Year in 2008 by leading the Hornets to the playoffs and also making Chris Paul one of the best point guards in the league. The Cavs are hoping Scott recreates that success only this time with Kyrie Irving who has a similar style of play of CP3. Mike Woodson hasn’t had the same success as Scott but this doesn’t mean he is a good head coach. Woodson and the Knicks was a great match last year and he got the contract everyone thought he deserved. I like Woodson, but I think Scott is a better coach.

Advantage – Cavaliers

If the Knicks and Cavs see each other in a first round matchup, who would win? You have to imagine for the Cavs to make the playoffs, even in a weak lower half of the East, they would have to be playing pretty good basketball The Knicks would have home court advantage and a whole city thinking big things. Kyrie Irving could put on a show on a national stage, but there isn’t much behind him. I think the Knicks would sweep the Cavs.

Knicks win 4-0