Sunday, March 23, 2014
W2W4: Knicks vs. Cavaliers
By Ian Begley
Here are a few things to keep an eye on during Sunday night's Knicks-Cavaliers game:
Playoff push: Most basketball enthusiasts will be watching the NCAA tournament. But Knicks fans should be excited -- thanks to the Hawks' loss to the Raptors on Sunday afternoon, New York can pull within two games of eighth-place Atlanta with a win over Cleveland.
New York has won eight games in a row, while Cleveland has lost four in a row.
The Knicks trailed the Hawks by four games with 14 to play, and 6.5 games with 21 to play. According to Elias, only one team in the past 30 years has qualified for the playoffs after trailing by four-plus games with 14 to play. Only two teams have made the playoffs after trailing by five-plus games with 25 or fewer to play.
No Kyrie: The Knicks catch a break, as Kyrie Irving is out with a biceps injury. The New Jersey native has torched the Knicks in recent meetings, averaging 30.8 points in the last six Knicks-Cavs games.
Sharing is caring: The Knicks are 18-7 when Carmelo Anthony has four or more assists. They are 11-30 when he has three or fewer assists.
Does that mean Anthony should pass the ball more? Not necessarily. The conclusion we draw from this stat is that the Knicks are a better team when Anthony's teammates are hitting shots.
One of Anthony's teammates who has had no trouble scoring lately is Amar'e Stoudemire. Since entering the starting lineup eight games ago, Stoudemire's averaging 18.5 points per game on 58.8 percent shooting.