The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the few teams in the NBA that have been just as hapless as the New York Knicks. When the Knicks take their ineffectual group of misfits to Cleveland, they will face an imposing Cavaliers frontcourt that will relish the opportunity to dominate New York in the rebounding category.
Carmelo Anthony has faced intense criticism about his shot selection and ability to share the basketball offensively, even though he has been one of the few Knicks to rebound the ball well this season. Anthony averages 9.7 rebounds per game, while Andrea Bargnani ranks second on the team averaging just 5.7. Of course, Bargnani has shown the ability to knock down open jump shots, but he needs to display some toughness by rebounding the ball also.
Bargnani’s struggles on the glass are no anomaly for the team, as New York averages only 39.4 rebounds per game as a group and no player on the Knicks roster averages over 10.
The Knicks are in for a long night if they take the same approach as they have to this point in the season to secure rebounds against Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and Andrew Bynum. New York needs to commit every player on the court to rebounding the ball, so they can limit the Cavaliers’ ability to score second-chance points from offensive rebounds. More importantly, the Knicks need to focus on this phase of the game if they are going to turn their season around.
Tanking is not an option for New York, because they don’t have a first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. The Knicks’ rebounding woes are an indication that there may be a lack toughness on the team, and after a 41-point loss, it is imperative that New York prevents this season from transforming into a total waste.
The Knicks can breathe new life into their season by winning tonight in Cleveland, but if they lose, the city of New York should brace themselves for one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history.