Dec 19, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forwardKristaps Porzingis
(6) and New York Knicks forwardCarmelo Anthony
(7) react after a shot by Porzingis (6) during second half against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls 107-91. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks (12.23)
The Knicks are not nearly as bad as they have been in past seasons. Anchored by Carmelo Anthony–a player never known for efficiency–is averaging 21.7 points per game this season while shooting 41.6 percent to go along with 7.0 rebounds per game. Anthony will be joined in the front court with Kristaps Porzingis and Robin Lopez, who will present a definite challenge on both ends of the floor for the Cavaliers’ bigs. Porzingis’ length will present a serious challenge for Kevin Love, who oftentimes has been spoken of as the focal point of the Cavaliers’ offense.
Defensively, the Cavaliers will have to deal with Anthony, Porzingis, and Arron Afflalo, who is quietly knocking down almost 50 percent of his shots for around 15 points per game.
The Cavaliers have already beat the Knicks twice this season, but in the first matchup, the Knicks were without Afflalo. In the second contest, Cleveland squeaked out a five-point win.
At 14-14, the Knicks have put themselves into a position to be around for a playoff spot and will be looking to measure their progress against the best team in the East. Expect this game to be a close one. If the Cavaliers are caught looking ahead to Christmas Day in Oakland, they may stub their toe.
Prediction: Cavaliers 97, Knicks 95
Next: 12.25: At Golden State