The Cleveland Cavaliers have won eight games at The Q. Two of those wins came against the Knicks. Hey guys!, Lebron left this summer! Has Mike D’Antoni forgotten to tell the team? Maybe he thought it would hurt morale, being that the “plan” was to dress Lebron in orange and blue.
It was a swift kick in the pants, if there ever was one. Apparently, acquiring one of the league’s best players doesn’t guarantee wins, even against the lowly Cavs. Think about this for a second: if you remove the Knick wins, Cleveland has yet to win double digit games.
Oh yeah, and they traded away Mo Williams, a guy people thought was good until 23 left town. Also, the guy Cleveland traded for – the always depressing Barron Davis- didn’t even play.
Want more from the season’s most head scratching performance? Here’s five things from the Knicks 115-109 loss to the Cavs….
1. Rebounding – That’s right, Cleveland is awful. But even awful teams win games when they win the rebounding battle by double digits. 62-42 was the official count, in favor of Lebron’s old club. Look no further than this stat for a reason why the Knicks are going to South Beach on a skid.
The defensive glass was the real difference. The Cavs outrebounded New York 43-29 in this area. You can afford to get outrebounded against a bad team and still win, but not by that margin.
And the voices saying “this team has no size” are singing.
2. Ronny Turiaf – Piggybacking on the point above, Turiaf was really bad on Friday night. If his job is to stand in the post and clean glass (which, I’m sorry, it has to be), then how can he get away with two defensive rebounds. Sure, he had three on the offensive end, but isn’t Turiaf supposed to be more of a presence on the other end….and Renaldo Balkman wasn’t a big help either in eight minutes of sleepy basketball.
3. Carmelo- Didn’t shoot a great percentage on Friday, but still “managed” 27 points and eight rebounds. Imagine how good he’ll be when he actually knows a lot of the plays! This is still exciting.
Anthony cooled off after an unconscious first quarter and missed a big free throw late, but there’s always going to be some sort of a learning curve for a player two games into a new system. Now the attention shifts to his banged up elbow. He isn’t scheduled for any tests and expects to play on Sunday night, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
4. Chauncy’s early foul trouble- Billups picked up two quick fouls and had to sit down in the first quarter. This really messed up the Knick offense early. In 29 minutes, the new point guard had 26 points and eight assists. He was also twelve of fourteen from the line. But those missed minutes early got the Knicks into a funk that they had a hard time climbing out of.
5. Free Throws- The Cavs went to the line 15 more times on Friday. Although the Knicks shot a better percentage, it’s important to note that giving a team 15 more free points is not a good strategy. I didn’t think the calls were all that tickey tack either. I’ve always thought that the idea of free throws having to be even was ridiculous. Maybe the Knicks were just fouling more. Hmmm?
About the Author
Written by Jordan Lauterbach
Jordan Lauterbach began his career in sports media when he was just 15 years old at WKWZ - Syosset. He hosted a sports talk show for nearly four years before moving on to WCWP - Brookville in 2006. Lauterbach currently hosts a sports talk show every Wednesday night from 9pm - midnight (eastern) and a College Football talk show on Saturday mornings from 11am - 12:30 (eastern) (can be heard online at wcwpsports.com and on Long Island on 88.1fm). Follow me on twiiter: jlauterbach1