Knicks-Cavs: What to Watch For

Tonight, the Knicks will take on the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. The game is a must-win if they want to try and obtain the 6th seed in the playoffs. The Knicks dropped 1 of the 3 games played against the Cavaliers, but it was back when Iman Shumpert was the starting point guard. One comforting thing for the Knicks is how brutally terrible the Cavs have been lately, losing their last 2 games by a combined 55 POINTS.

Here’s what to watch for:

  • STAT IS BACK! Amare Stoudemire told Yahoo Sports that he will indeed be returning for the game against the Cavs tonight. It will be very interesting to see how he plays and if he and Carmelo can coexist successfully. It will also be interesting to see how it impacts the rest of the team. It would also be refreshing to see STAT display at least a small amount of that explosiveness he was known for in Phoenix. With STAT coming back from a back injury, however,  that might not be something we see right off the bat. One thing we all know for sure, Amare Stoudemire will NOT be coming off the bench like many Knicks fans and NBA analysts have suggested.
  • Will Carmelo Anthony continue on this tear he has been on so far this month, in which he has averaged 32.2 ppg? Judging by the competition, Melo should not have the least bit of trouble continuing his stellar play. This partially depends on how well he and Amare can coexist. I see Melo lighting up the Dan Gilbert Arena and scoring a ton of points unless its a blowout and Woodson chooses to sit Melo for a large portion of the game.
  • Tyson Chandler should have an absolute field day. It looks like Anderson Varejao will not be brought back by the Cavs the season while recovering from a fractured wrist. This means the Cavs will have to continue playing small which will lead to Chandler being matched up with 6’8″ Tristan Thompson. This matchup will obviously give Chandler a distinct rebounding advantage. Also, I expect Tyson Chandler to continue scoring like he has been, while maintaining his astronomical FG percentage. It is likely he will finish the season with the highest FG percentage since some guy named Wilt Chamberlain.
  • One unknown is whether Baron Davis got over his stomach issues that kept him out of the game against the Nets. Also, even if he can go, will he start? The Cryptkeeper, Mike Bibby, honestly held his own and can be counted on to screw up a whole lot less than Baron Davis. It will be interesting to see how Mike Woodson handles this point guard situation.
  • Jr Smith is really the biggest x-factor in the NBA. He can win games for you as well as lose them with is often-atrocious shot-selection. It’d be nice to see the Knicks get JR some spot up looks instead of him trying to iso every time he gets the ball since he misses these iso shots far more often than he makes them.
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