Cleveland 2, Knicks 0. At least that’s the season record. The Cavs beat the Knicks again, trumping them 115-109 last night. No doubt the mainstream media will tout Amar’e and Carmelo combining for 58 points, which will lead most to believe that it was their teammates that let New York down. However the pair needed 49 shots to accomplish that goal.
Instead it was Chauncey Billups who brought the Knicks within a shot of victory. New York’s new PG had 26 points on only 14 shots, including 20 in the fourth quarter. Nonetheless the effort was in vain, as the Knicks allowed Cleveland to score 32 points in the final frame to seal the victory.
Billups was +9 on the night, but there was Knick who was even better in that category: Renaldo Balkman. The prodigal forward only played 8 minutes, but was a whooping +15. He didn’t do much that was recorded on the box score, only 2 rebounds, 2 fouls, and zero shot attempts. However he did play good defense between the forward spots, and more importantly he actually played. I didn’t think that D’Antoni would use the energetic yet jumpshooting-challenged forward. but it appears he might have a tiny role as a defensive stopper, for now.