2008-9 Game Thread: Knicks vs Cavaliers
Okay, so the trade was completed (thank goodness), but it looks like Mobley will not be in the starting lineup tonight.
Someone in the previous thread linked to cavfanatic.com. Wow, was kind of sad to read. I feel bad for those fans – they’re quite angry at all the attention the whole “Lebron to NY in 2010″ thing is getting, and I suppose I can’t blame them.
Then again, I’m a Yankee fan and I remember 2007 and “A-Rod is leaving!” Heck, I had to go through “A-Rod actually opted out of his contract!” So I feel their pain. That said, they are awfully defensive over there (mid-market teams tend to be that way, because the media usually talks more about the coastal teams), and reading their thoughts about tonight’s game are pretty funny.
Here’s Thomas B.’s look at tonight’s game:
Tuesday, November 25 – Cleveland
TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG New York Knicks-Offense 98.4 106 50.1 14.5 21.8 19.3 Rank 1 14 11 6 29 28 Cleveland Cavaliers-Defense 88.8 104.8 46.8 16.6 28.1 26.4 Rank 26 12 8 11 20 24 New York Knicks-Defense 98.4 107.4 50.9 15.2 28.6 19.1 Rank 1 21 27 21 24 3 Cleveland Cavaliers-Offense 88.8 114 51.8 15 29.4 28.4 Rank 26 1 2 11 7 3
[First meeting of the teams this year.]
This will be the third straight Tuesday on which the Knicks meet one of last year’s playoff teams (Spurs and Boston previously). The Cavs went 9-1 over the last 10 games and look to be clicking. Conversely, the Knicks are going to work three new players into the rotation.
What to watch for: LBJ. Since the Knicks have the cap room to dream about Lebron, I think LBJ might start showing the garden crowd exactly what they could get on about July 24th 2010. That is if the price is right.
What to watch for 2: Of all the players brought in, I think Cutino Mobley can have the best immediate impact due to his defense. He and Duhon give the Knicks their strongest defensive backcourt since perhaps Derek Harper and John Starks. That’s a good thing, since the Cavs are 2nd in shooting (eFG%: 51.8%), and 1st on offense (OE: 114 pts/100poss). Much of this is due to strong backcourt play. Mo Williams and Delonte West are both shooting above 40% from behind the arc, with West’s 66.2 eFG% leading the team. The Knicks need to eliminate open shots by pressuring the ball and cutting off passing lanes. If Duhon and Mobley can pressure the backcourt, they could push Williams’ and West’s so-so assist ratios down, while bringing their slightly below average turnover ratios up.