Before winning on Tuesday, the New York Knicks (7-11) had been on a six-game winning streak. Before coming to the Q and facing the Cleveland Cavaliers (7-10) tonight, star of the New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony had scored the least amount of points in his eight-year career.
Anthony, despite the Knicks winning on Tuesday, managed to score one point. He shot 0-7 from the field and went 1-1 on the charity stripe. Just when the Knicks thought they were back on the up (not too sure how far we have to look back to see when the last up was), the Cavaliers ended a losing streak of their own.
The Wine and Gold were on a four-game skid, even though they contested their heated rivals in Miami very well on Tuesday night, and had people talking of their struggles last season.
Many Cavs players contested people questioning if Cleveland was headed toward a collapse like last years, which featured the longest losing streak in NBA history at 26.
The reason I mentioned Tuesday’s loss to Miami is due to the fact that last seasons loss to the Heat is what sparked the 1-35 stretch. Unlike the team’s first matchup with “The Big 3” was an embarrassment for the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland. This time around, I saw a defensively sound game that helped hold foe LeBron James in check.
Now that we’ve covered everything except the Knicks-Cavs matchup, let’s get down to business.
Cleveland shot 45% from beyond the arch while the Knicks shot a miserable 3-20 (15%). That’s always a good sign.
Even though the Cavaliers only made two more shots than New York (32), the Wine and Gold’s 91-81 victory was mainly fueled by 9 three-pointers and the Cavs ability to not turn the ball over as many times as the Knicks.
Tonight, Cleveland turned the ball over 18. They average 17.1 turnovers per game, an NBA worst. The only weak spot tonight, besides some dismal free throws, was the Cavaliers tendency of not being careful while handling the basketball. They’re a young team and the turnovers are part of an experiment. We just have to put up with it for now.
Defensively, the Cavaliers played the best they have all season. The New York Knicks could only muster 81 points against a squad that gives up close 98.6 points per game. 10 steals, 2 blocks and 44 rebounds, 16 collected by Anderson Varejao, headlined an impressive Cavaliers stat box.
On a night that the defense shined brightest, the offense wasn’t too far behind production wise. 4 starters were in double digits (Antawn Jamison, Omri Casspi, Varejao and Anthony Parker) and Kyrie Irving provided 7 assists to the cause.
This Friday I will be at the Q in attendance for my first Cavs game of the season, as I have been tucked down here in Athens, Ohio watching the Wine and Gold from the comfort of my dorm room. Cleveland will be going up against the New Jersey Nets (6-13).