GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Knicks

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Mo Speights
Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (24-54) and New York Knicks (51-27) are meeting for the third and final time of the 2012-13 regular season. Tipoff at Quicken Loans Arena is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.

In the two teams' last meeting, Mo Speights, who made his first and only start with Cleveland, led five Cavs in double figures with a season-high 23 points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes despite a Wine and Gold loss.

The Cavs will look to avenge that loss by continuing their aggressiveness at the defense end. Cleveland has 30 total blocks in the last four games for an average of 7.5 a night. They have swatted at least seven shots in each of those games.

New York comes into tonight's contest having lost in overtime last night in Chicago. The 118-111 loss snapped the Knicks 13-game winning streak.

In the loss, Carmelo Anthony, grabbed a season-high 19 rebounds to go along with a game-high 36 points. Anthony has been on fire as of late, averaging 39.8 points in his last six games.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Wayne Ellington, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller

Knicks: PG - Pablo Prigioni, SG - Raymond Felton, SF - Iman Shumpert
PF - Carmelo Anthony, C - Tyson Chandler

Injuries: (Cavs) - C.J. Miles, (Forehead Laceration/Concussion, Out), Daniel Gibson, (Sore Right Elbow, Out), Luke Walton, (Sore Right Ankle, Out), Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)

(Knicks) - Kenyon Martin, (Sprained Left Ankle, Out), Amar’e Stoudemire, (Right Knee Debridement, Out), Tyson Chandler, (Bulging Disc, Out), Rasheed Wallace, (Fractured Left Fifth Metatarsal, Out), Marcus Camby, (Left Plantar Fasciitis, Doubtful)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Knicks lead the Cavaliers in the all-time series 81-105 including a 66-27 mark in games played in New York, but the Cavaliers have a 54-39 advantage playing at home. Cleveland has won 10 of their last 11 home games over the Knicks dating back to 2007.

The last time these two teams squared off on March 4 at The Q, the Cavs shot .507 (37-73) from the field, including a season-high .684 (26-38) in the first half.

STATS Fun Fact

STATSAs a team, the Cavaliers dribbled the basketball 850 times against the Pistons on Wednesday. Kyrie Irving produced half of the team's dribbles with 431 by himself.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Defending the Three-Point Line

The Cavs’ defense has been solid over the last four games, holding opponents to a combined .420 shooting from the field and just .224 (15-67) from beyond-the-arc. The Wine and Gold will have to continue that trend against the Knicks, especially when defending the three-point line.

Much of the Knicks' offense is predicated on their outside shooting. In fact, New York enters tonight's game having knocked down a league-leading 847 triples.

Cleveland should look to close out hard on outside shooters in hopes of forcing New York off the three-point line.

Key Matchup

Cavs Bench vs. Knicks Bench

As documented in the Injury Report, New York is banged up and will have a lot of guys playing extended minutes. With the Knicks lineup deleted, expect the reserves to be a key matchup tonight.

Cleveland’s bench is averaging 36.2 points since Wayne Ellington and Mo Speights played their first game as Cavaliers on January 25th. That mark is the 2nd-most in the Eastern Conference over that stretch, trailing only the Knicks (44.8).

In the two teams' last matchup, Luke Walton set a career-high with 12 assists in 29 minutes off the bench.

The Wine and Gold's focus will be on "Six Man of the Year" candidate, J.R. Smith. Smith is scoring 24.9 over his last 11 games.

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  • Where to Catch the Action

    TV: FSOhio HD, NBA League Pass
    Radio: WTAM 1100, XM 218, Sirius 123, NBA League Pass Audio

    Programming Notes:

    Cavs vs. Knicks - Friday, April 12th
    Cavaliers Live Pregame Show begins at 7:00 p.m. | Tipoff at 7:30 p.m.

    • Cleveland, Youngstown/Erie, and Wheeling/Steubenville areas:
    - Main FOX Sports Ohio cable channel
    - Direct TV: FSOhio
    - Dish: FSOhio
    - AT&T: FSOhio

    • Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus/Lima, Toledo, Charleston/Huntington areas:
    - The game is being made available to providers to air on an additional alternate channel *Channel information is listed below by provider
    - Direct TV: FSOhio
    - Dish: FSOhio
    - AT&T: FSOhio

    *Alt Channel Numbers for Cavs (by affiliate):
    Affiliate Channel Number for FSO Cavs Alt
    Arthur Telephone - 40
    Bascom - 143
    Benton Ridge - 117
    Buckland - 59
    Com Net - 46
    McClure - 88
    Middlepoint Telephone - 80
    Ridgeville - 61
    Sycamore - 90
    Wabash - 153
    Watch TV - 41
    Buckeye - 69
    Cincinnati Bell - 205
    WOW - 344
    TWC - 334
    New Knoxville - 82
    Horizon Chillicothe - 44 / 544
    TSC Communications - 281 / 781
    Nelsonville - 63