GameDay Preview: Cavs at Knicks

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Tristan Thompson
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold travel to the Big Apple tonight to take on the New York Knicks. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (26-42) scored 111 points last night against the Houston Rockets on 46-91 (.505) shooting from the field, including 6-15 (.400) from the three-point line.

The Cavs also outrebounded the Rockets 48-31 and outscored them in points in the paint 56-42.

New York (29-40) enters tonight's contest riding a season-high eight-game winning streak. The victory pulled the Knicks within three games of the Atlanta Hawks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Jarrett Jack, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Spencer Hawes

Knicks: PG - Raymond Felton, SG - J.R. Smith, SF - Carmelo Anthony
PF - Amar'e Stoudemire, C - Tyson Chandler

Status Update: (Cavs) - Carrick Felix, (Left patellar Stress Fracture, Out), Anthony Bennett, (Left Patellar Tendon Strain, Out), Kyrie Irving, (Left Biceps Strain, Out), Luol Deng, (Left Ankle Sprain, Game-Time Decision), Sergey Karasev, (Right Knee Patellar Tendonitis, Out), C.J. Miles, (Left Ankle Sprain, Out)

(Knicks) - Kenyon Martin, (Sprained Left Ankle, Out), Andrea Bargnani, (Torn Ligament, Left Elbow, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavs are 1-2 against the Knicks this season after falling 107-97 in their last matchup on March 8 at The Q. In that game, Cleveland outscored New York 42-28 in points in the paint and shot 16-18 (.889) from the free throw line.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 82-108 against New York (55-41 Home, 27-67 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Ball Movement

New York has had their struggles at times on the defensive end this season allowing opponents to shoot nearly 46% from the field.

The Cavaliers have done a tremendous job of sharing the basketball lately. Cleveland dished out a season-high 33 assists last night. The Cavs have dished out 27-plus assists in each of the last three games (27 vs. MIA 3/18, 27 vs. OKC 3/20). The last time Cleveland dished out 27-plus assists in three straight games was February 26-March 3, 2010 (29 at TOR 2/26/10, 31 vs. NYK 3/1/10 & 29 at NJ 3/3/10).

If the Wine and Gold can continue to space the floor and move the basketball, they should get high percentage opportunities at the basket.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

With the Wine and Gold on the second night of a back-to-back and playing their fourth game in six days, they will need to rely heavily on their bench tonight against the Knicks.

Cleveland reserves netted 52 points off the bench last night against the Rockets. The Cavaliers have scored 50-plus points off the bench 13 times this season.

The bench bunch was led by Tyler Zeller last night who notched a career-high 23 points on 10-16 (.625) shooting, six rebounds, two assists and one block in 30 minutes.

Matthew Dellavedova posted his second straight double-double (second career) with 14 points, including 3-4 (.750) from the three-point line, a career-high tying six rebounds and a career-high tying 10 assists in 37 minutes off the bench. The last Cavs player to record consecutive point-assist double-doubles off the bench was John Morton (3/14/91-3/16/91).

For New York, J.R. Smith used to be the Knicks spark plug off the bench, but since moving into the starting lineup, rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. has filled that role.

In a Jan. 30 matchup with the Cavs this season at Madison Square Garden, Hardaway Jr. tallied a career-high 29 points, including 6-12 (.500) shots from the three-point line, in 30 minutes off the bench.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 218

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.

Be sure to check cavs.com for Joe Gabriele's live in-game blog providing instant analysis and game notes. Plus, get into the discussion as die-hard Cavs fans talk about the game on CavFanatic's GameDay Thread.

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs travel back home to take on the Toronto Raptors at The Q on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. ET.