Clutch Feed: Cavs-Knicks will feature plenty of LeBron James
UPCOMING MILESTONES: With 12 more points, LeBron James accumulates 28,000 for his career, while passing Kobe Bryant to become the youngest player to do so. In addition, with two steals, LeBron James passes Magic Johnson for 20th on the all-time career list, and with 12 assists, he passes Lenny Wilkens for 13th most all-time. Finally, with three blocks, James also reaches 800 in his career, and with nine made free throws, he will have made the 13th most in history, passing Charles Barkley. Kyrie Irving needs two more steals to obtain 9th place in Cavaliers’ franchise history – passing John Bagley. Tristan Thompson will pass Anderson Varejao for 3rd most offensive rebounds in franchise history with just one more and pass Jim Chones for 6th most total rebounds for the Cavaliers with 14 more.
STARTING LINEUP CHANGE: Just as Kevin Love is set to return tonight after missing the past two games, Kyrie Irving will sit out tonight with right quad soreness.
After numerous recent trade rumors involving the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers, mainly involving a Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony swap (which the Cavaliers have been publicly opposed to), the Wine-and-Gold head to New York for the third game between these two teams this season. The Knicks come into the matchup at 22-29, good for tenth in the Eastern Conference. Although the Cavaliers have gone .500 in their last 10 games, they have began to try and lift themselves from their January rut, and have won three of their last four.
The Cavaliers have won both of their games against the Knicks so far this season – on October 25th, the Cavs won 117-88 behind Kyrie Irving’s team high 29 points, and on December 7th, the Cavs won 126-94, with Irving scoring the most points for Cleveland once again with 28. Head to head against Carmelo Anthony in his career, LeBron has won 16 out of 28 total games, including winning the last six straight games. As a team, the Cavaliers have won eight straight against the Knicks, with the last loss coming in 2014.
As a team, the Knicks like to score on midrange shots, averaging a league-high 20.3% of their total points there. A significant portion of their points – 22.5 per game – come off of pull up jump shots as well. One big positive for them this season has been their second most offensive rebounds per game – 13.0 – and second most total rebounds per game – 46.7. The Cavaliers have to be wary of allowing them to take open three point shots in the corner – the Knicks average a league-best 44.8% on corner three point shots. On defense, they’ve also managed 5.8 blocks per game – third most in the NBA.
Key players to watch for on the Knicks will be Carmelo Anthony (averaging 23.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game) and Kristaps Porzingis (averaging 18.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game).
Tipoff is set for 8:30 EST and will be broadcast on ABC.