Tonight, we will have a look at a match between two of the bottom 5 teams in the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers and NY Knicks, at Quicken Loans Arena.
First, let’s take a look at Cleveland Cavaliers. This team has been a huge disappointment this season. With a 6-21 record they are miles away from what we have seen from them last season and by the looks of it, they will stay where they are. In their last 10 games, Cavaliers have won only 3, most recently against Washington Wizards (116:101) and even put up a good fight against Milwaukee Bucks in their most recent match 108:92, if we look past their 31:18 1st quarter. Looking closer at the match against Bucks, Cavaliers, as mentioned, ended their 1st quarter 13 points behind, mostly due to their poor shooting (29.2 FG%). The next quarter was close, but still with Buck performing better (28:23). At this point, Cavaliers were already 18 points behind the home side. The margin got to 29 points in the 3rd quarter (79:53), but Cavaliers managed to reduce it back to 18 points before the 4th quarter (84:66). The last quarter was in Cavaliers favour, as they performed slightly better compared to Bucks, but not good enough to come close of closing the gap. The match ended with a final score of 108:92.
The visiting side, NY Knicks are currently 12th in the East, with an overall record of 8-20, which is only slightly better than Cavaliers. Looking at their most recent matches, they have won only 1 in the past 5 and 4 in the past 10. They are also on a 4 game losing streak. Looking at their most recent match against Charlotte Hornets, Knicks were outscored by 11 points in the 2nd quarter, which resulted in them trailing by 14 points before the last 2 quarters. The 3rd quarter continued in the same fashion, with Hornets performing better, increasing their lead to 28 points in the first few minutes of the 3rd quarter, however they had to be satisfied with 21 point lead before the start of the last quarter. Last quarter was in Knicks favour, as they performed much better than Hornets who only shot with 37.5% accuracy from the field, whereas Knicks shot with a high 65 FG%. Still, it was not enough to close the gap. The match ended with Hornets winning by 12 points (107:119).
Cavaliers are coming into this match with a huge problem. Tristan Thompson is expected to miss this match and all the upcoming ones for a few weeks. In addition, Love, JR. Smith and Thompson are all sidelined. On the other side, the Knicks will be without Burke, Porzingis and Thomas. Comparing the teams and their sidelined players, Cavaliers are in a much worse position with Thompson out of the game. A lot of their good performances were a result of Thompson’s exceptional performance on both ends of the court and with him sidelined, there will be a huge hole to fill. Knicks on the other hand, despite their absent players, have bigger depth in their squad. Although they did not win a match in the last 4 games, they are playing well, in a way they are not giving up. This seems to be a close match and it just might be one, however Knicks seem like a better side, especially with Thompson out of the match for Cavaliers. Expect Knicks to put up a tough fight for weakened Cavaliers.
Prediction: New York Knicks to win
Odds: 1.96 Dafabet