The Knicks are desperately fighting to hold on to their playoff position—currently holding the eight and final spot with the Milwaukee Bucks 1.5 games behind—so every game counts. Every basket, every loose ball, every win and every loss matters in a huge way for the Knicks.
The Cavaliers have gone 1-9 in their last 10 games, but all it takes is one game to get back on track. It's one game both teams need, so this will be a huge matchup.
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
When: Saturday March 31st at 7:30 p.m. EDT
Watch: NBA TV
Listen: AM 1100 WTAM Cleveland; ESPN New York 1050 AM New York
Betting Line: New York Knicks -10.5 via bovada.net
Cleveland: Guard Kyrie Irving doubtful (shoulder), guard Daniel Gibson out for season (ankle), forward Andreson Varejao out until mid-April (wrist).
New York: Center Tyson Chandler probable (groin), forward Carmelo Anthony probable (groin), guard Jeremy Lin doubtful (knee), forward Amar'e Stoudemire out until mid-April (back), forward Jared Jeffries out until early April (knee), guard Bill Walker out until early April (elbow).
What They're Saying
The big news surrounding the Cavaliers right now is the health of their star rookie point guard Kyrie Irving. Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Irving is listed as questionable, but he feels the team will likely not risk playing him against the Knicks.
Alex Raskin of NJ.com wonders whether or not the Knicks can overcome their plethora of injuries. He then asserts that the health of Baron Davis is actually the key to whether or not the Knicks can win this game, especially with Jeremy Lin dealing with knee problems.
Most Important Player to Watch
Carmelo Anthony has been on a tear as of late, scoring 36, 25 and 28 in the last three games, respectively. He's got the talent to carry this team on his back, but will his groin allow him to do so?
With both starting point guards out, this game is going to come down to a battle of the backups. As Raskin of NJ.com writes, Baron Davis is going to have to play huge for the Knicks. On the other side of the court, backup point guard Donald Sloan will have to do the same.
I like a win-desperate New York team at home in this matchup.
Knicks 85, Cavaliers 74