Cleveland could face short-handed scenario
The Cavaliers have won seven straight meetings against the Knicks. But can the defending champs keep the magic going tonight in spite of a slew of bumps and bruises?
Tyronn Lue’s team hits Gotham shortly, with an 8 p.m. ET tip at Madison Square Garden. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Cleveland odds of -230 to handle its business on the road. Conversely, New York represents a +180 underdog.
Monday’s 116-112 victory over Toronto may have come at a price for the Cavs. In the waning moments of the first quarter, J.R. Smith's knee buckled after he took a shot in the lane. A subsequent MRI exam revealed no structural damage, but Lue will likely exercise caution with his long-range gunner.
LeBron James also tweaked his knee in that same contest. Yet No. 23 wouldn’t dare miss an opportunity to steal the Big Apple spotlight. The 12-time All-Star is averaging 27.2 points, seven rebounds and six assists over 45 career games vs. the Knicks. Earlier this season, he posted a triple-double against Carmelo Anthony & Co.
While New York’s coming off a 114-103 triumph at Miami, the situation certainly doesn’t look all rosy for Jeff Hornacek’s crew. Point guard Derrick Rose has been incapacitated by back spasms, and the club holds a 0-4 record on the second night of back-to-backs. Expect the visitors to roll rather handily.
WEDNESDAY NBA FREE PICK: CAVALIERS/KNICKS UNDER 217 POINTS