On Tuesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland will host the New York Knicks for game two of their first-round series. New York earned a narrow 101-97 road victory in game one; game two should provide just as exciting an experience. New York has won four out of five meetings between these teams this season, although Cleveland is never one to shirk a challenge! This one should make for an intriguing contest – so fans will want to tune in!
Cleveland stands at 51-31 this season and ranks fifth in offensive execution with 48.8% from the floor – good enough to put them fifth overall in terms of NBA scoring efficiency. They have scored 9,205 points so far (112.3 per game), are pulling down 41.1 boards per contest (19th best), assist teammates 24.9 times per contest (18th in NBA), give away possession 13.3 times each game while also committing 19.0 fouls each contest and connecting at 78% from free throw lines.
The Cavaliers rank first in points per game allowed at 106.5, forcing 15.7 turnovers each night and allowing teams to shoot 46.8% from the field (7th). Furthermore, Cleveland allows 36.8% of shots taken from beyond the arc (924 of 2,508) to be made, and their opponents hit 78% of their free throw attempts; these statistics make them 1st and 3rd, respectively, in league play.
New York enters this game with an overall record of 47-35 and has turned over possession 13.0 times per contest while also committing 20.3 fouls per game as a unit. Furthermore, they have pulled down 46.6 boards per game while accounting for 1,880 dimes this season (good enough for 28th in terms of passing). They’ve averaged 116.0 points per outing (11th overall in the league) while shooting 35.4% from 3-point range (1,037 of 2,9330) while hitting 76% from the free throw line (76% on average).
On defense, the Knicks are forcing 12.7 turnovers per game, drawing 20.7 fouls each contest, and surrendering 35.7% from 3-point land while ranking 13th overall in opponents’ PPG (113.1). They give up an opponent shooting percentage of 46.2% (3,343 of 7,229) while giving away 42.0 boards per contest as a team and rank 13th nationally with 2,062 assists given out this season.
New York has shown great strides against Cleveland this season and should remain competitive throughout this game. New York’s depth should serve them well, though winning two in a row might prove challenging. Look for them to focus more on defense while slowing the game down; doing this should keep them within striking distance when game time closes down. 5.5 points seems like a lot to give the Knicks, so I will take the Knicks and the points.
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