There will be a different vibe in New York tonight when a humbled Cleveland Cavs squad storms into Madison Square Garden for a second meeting with the Knicks in a season that has produced early optimism for New York fans with the departure of Carmelo Anthony and his band of vagabonds, and the ascension of The Lethal Latvian and his group of gritty rough riders.
This game has been a layup for Cleveland in the past, however the organization has been hit with an unusual fear and pessimism. While the 7-5 Knicks are sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, the 6-7 Cavs are in ninth place, struggling to find some continuity while they wait for the arrival of Isiah Thomas after losing Kyrie Irving to the first-place Celtics in the offseason.
Check out The New York Knicks’ Kristaps “The Unicorn” Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. bring the empire state of mind to the land as they combine for 66 points, 16 rebounds, and 8 assists in a 114-95 win over The Cleveland Cavaliers!!!
New York hasnt been this excited in a while. Theres sure to be a playoff atmosphere in MSG. With a 114-95 win over the Cavs on October 29th already under the Knicks belts, fans are hyped for this showdown.
For the first time in a long time, most New Yorkers feel like it’s a close to even match and anybodys game. This isnt your post 2012 Carmelo Anthony-driven New York Knicks. Fans are ready for some blood.
I don’t think anybody is prepared for what’s gonna happen on their TLs if the Knicks beat the Cavs tonight. https://t.co/tL8nkwu1xL
Kristaps Porzingis is shining like the city lights down in Times Square and leading the Knicks to wins over solid teams. He has displayed the ferociousness, swag and multifaceted finesse game that has elevated him into MVP contention. At least thats what basketball heads are saying.
New York’s future is bright with Kristaps Porzingis + Frank Ntilikina. Porzingis is playing like an MVP. Ntilikina is defending like a vet. https://t.co/DdOPJMU5sm
Unfortunately First Take’s Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman dont feel that way. They also have short memories, forgetting that the Knicks held King James to 16 points in their last meeting.
When asked, Smith says he expects LeBron to come into the mecca and do damage to a predicted line of 40 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists.
The fact that Kristaps Porzingis has looked like such an emerging star in this league, LeBron James is the kind of dude that wants to come into The Mecca and remind everybody that there are levels to this. ‘I am the greatest player in the world’… and I think that hes going to put on a show. Particularly, against a Knicks team that has improved, who plays defense, but at the same time, aint on LeBrons level, Smith said.
Kellerman predicted a triple-double for King James tonight.
I get the generous predictions. LeBron has dominated horrible Knicks squads for years. According to ESPN stats, his 28.5 points per game is third behind Michael Jordan (31.8) and Kobe Bryant (29.9) for most career ppg at Madison Square Garden since 1968 (minimum of 10 games).
Not quite Kobe Bryant. Definitely vintage LeBron James. LeBron James scored a season-high 52 points in his 21st career triple-double, joined Michael Jordan as the only visitors with multiple 50-point games at the present Madison Square Garden, and led Cleveland to a 107-102 victory over New York.
As they continue to improve and move out of laughing stock territory and back into a respectable basketball organization, games at home against the best players in the league and the best teams will be measuring sticks for how much damage the new-look Knicks can truly do this season and how much they continue to make believers out of dreamers.