The Cavaliers head into Saturday night’s contest in Madison Square Garden needing a win and also needing to show that they can play with passion and energy for a whole game.
If you look at the standings, you might think that the match-up of the 5-19 Cavaliers and the 17-5 Knicks looks like a blow-out, and chances are you’d be right.
But this could be a trap game for the Knicks and a big win for the Cavaliers.
While the Cavaliers should have had this game circled their calendars as a chance to get a big victory and gain some national attention, the Knicks probably marked it on their calendars as a night to get some rest and do some Christmas shopping on their phones at halftime or while relaxing on the bench in the fourth quarter.
Despite the odds being stacked against the Cavaliers, though, they can compete in this game and they can win.
Starting guards Kyrie Irving and C.J. Miles are both playing very well right now for the Cavaliers, and they should be able to get by and score on the New York guards. If they can set the tone for the Cavaliers early and help the team get out and run, great things could happen in this game for the Cavaliers.
The match-up inside between Anderson Varejao and Tyson Chandler should also be great to watch, as both players bring a lot of energy and play tenacious defense.
Carmelo Anthony is listed as questionable for the Knicks, and he if does not play that should also help the Cavaliers chances.
The Cavaliers have played well against some big-time opponents such as the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and the Brooklyn Nets this season, and they should come out loose, focused and energetic against the Knicks.
The Cavaliers need another big win, and this game is a great opportunity to pick one up.