Cleveland (7-1) at New York (4-5)
When: Friday, November 13th 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: NBA TV
Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers being a 3-game road trip tonight in Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks. Cleveland fell to Chicago in their season opener, but have since won seven straight including a season high 118 points in a win over Utah on Tuesday. James is once again leading the way as he leads the Cavaliers in scoring, assists, FG%, and steals. Kevin Love has posted five double-doubles during the winning streak and is averaging 17.6 points and 12 rebounds on the season as he continues to grow more comfortable with his role on the team. Mo Williams, who is filling in for injured guard Kyrie Irving, had a season-high 29 points on 8-of-9 shooting on Tuesday to mark his third 20-point performance in the last five games. Cleveland F Tristan Thompson is shooting 64.3 percent from the field and averaging 9.6 rebounds in 25.5 minutes off the bench this season. The Cavs beat the Knicks earlier this season 96-86 despite trailing 32-18 after the first quarter. James led the way with 23 points and Williams contributed 22. Cleveland ranks 6th in the league in points scored and 5th in points allowed. The Cavaliers will travel to Milwaukee right after the game to play the Bucks on Saturday, then the resurgent Pistons on Tuesday.
The Knicks will begin the night two games back of the Raptors in the Atlantic Division and the first of three in a row at home. Rookie forward Kristaps Porzingis is beginning to steal some of the spotlight from Carmelo Anthony this year. The 7’3″ Latvian scored 10 points a grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds on Wednesday to mark his fourth double-double in the last six games. Porzingis was in position to attempt the game-winning shot on Wednesday in part because Anthony missed badly on his own go-ahead attempt seconds earlier, bricking a jumper off the side of the backboard. Anthony is averaging 22.7 points but has shot 50% or better from the field in only one of New York’s first nine games. Arron Afflalo, who made his team debut on Wednesday after sitting out the first eight games with a hamstring injury, should take some of the scoring pressure off Anthony and delivered 12 points in 28 minutes in his first game. The Knicks are 25th in the league in FG percentage and 24th in 3-point percentage at 31.5%.
Cleveland is playing better than any team right now outside of Golden State. Williams’ play has been terrific in Irving’s absence and Love is starting to gel nicely with James. The Knicks will be up for this game and should keep it close. Cleveland wins, but New York covers.
Pick: Knicks +6