New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Game 22: December 7, 2016
Cavaliers 126, Knicks 94
Well that was ugly.
On the second night of a back to back, The Knicks got their tails kicked by the Cleveland Cavaliers, 126-94. The Cavs steamrolled the Knicks right out of the gate, as they hit 23 three pointers to lead them to a 32 point win. The big three of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and of course LeBron James, combined for 74 points, with Irving leading the way with 28 points. Brandon Jennings, who filled in for the injured Derrick Rose, led the Knicks with 16 points. Carmelo Anthony had only 8 points on 9 shot attempts, and Kristaps Porzingis finished with 12 points.
Takeaways from this game:
The Cavs are out of the Knicks league.
The defending champions once again proved that the Knicks still have a lot of work to do if they expect to compete in the playoffs. A team cannot expect to give up 23 three pointers and win the game, it just won’t happen in this league. Everyone knows that the Cavs have the firepower to score 120 points every night, but what was so impressive tonight was their defense. When they want to be, they can be a lockdown defensive team, and they showed it tonight. The Knicks were on the second of a back to back, and the Cavs had a full day to rest, but to lose by 32 at home is unacceptable. The Knicks definitely looked like they were playing their second game in two days, that’s for sure.
3 Point defense needs to improve:
This is the theme of tonight’s game, 3 point defense. 23 three pointers made for the Cavs.
That’s right, 23. It started with Kevin Love in the first quarter, and then the rest of the team caught fire as well. It seemed like the Cavs were wide open on threes the entire night, as the Knicks weren’t getting out on their shooters. Three point defense has improved over the past few games, but it definitely took a step back tonight.
The Knicks head out west after tonight to take on the Kings, Lakers, Suns, Warriors, and Nuggets over the next five games. Four of those five are definitely winnable games, and this could be the make or break point of the Knicks season. They will need to win at least three of those games for the rest of the league to take them seriously, and it starts Friday night. Tonight was hopefully just a bump in the road, and I’m still feeling confident about this team, but there isn’t much to say about this one. 12-10.