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Cavs Cavs Archive Cavs Stomp the Knicks: 109-94
Written by Demetri Inembolidis

Demetri Inembolidis

Photo courtesy of David Liam Kyle/Cavs.comThe New York Knicks are the perfect antidote for a young team that is in need of a confidence boost. The Cavs came into Tuesday night's game having won 3 of 4 against quality teams. They had a hiccup against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night where they lost by a final score of 108-89. Things appear to be on the upswing for the team because a loss like that may have caused them to spiral out of control and to lose grip of the season. Instead, they proceeded to have quality wins against the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks. They are now winners of 4 out of 5 and are headed to Orlando to take on the reeling Magic on Friday night. 

Some thoughts about the game:

Kyrie Irving had his best game of the season. He had 37 points, 11 assists and only 1 turnover. When Irving plays aggressively, the Cavs should be in position to beat any team on any given night. Granted, they will never be favored against certain teams and will suffer a lot of bad losses during the rest of the season. But the Cavs seem to be turning a corner. It all starts with the play of Irving. It feels like a lifetime ago that he had 0 points on 0-9 shooting against the Hawks. In that game, Dion Waiters scored 30 points on 20 shots. Andrew Bynum had 20 points and 13 rebounds. Tristan Thompson was 1 point away from a double double. None of that mattered because Kyrie Irving played the worst game of his career and they were blown out as a result.

Andrew Bynum wasn't much of a factor and that's OK. It feels like a lot of times, the Cavs focus too much on setting up Bynum for shots. The offense stagnates and Kyrie Irving looks like he struggles to score even the most simple of baskets. It is as if they set up Bynum for his shot, hope he scores and wait for him to shoot. Tonight, Bynum only took 6 shots and was not much of a factor outside of his rebounding. The Cavs are a better team when he is playing well, but they need to learn how to play with him. Until that happens, it is best that they do not force the issue and play with a level of comfort that is conducive to winning games.

It may not seem like it so far, but the Cavs are showing improvement. They did not win their 8th game until January 4th last year. That victory against the Charlotte Bobcats gave them a record of 8-26. 

The Knicks are struggling mightily. They can't defend and they have a habit of taking ill-advised and contested shots. When a team is struggling as badly as the Knicks are, their problems run deep and it is silly to make a scapegoat out of one player or the coach. Having said that, does it feel like this team has taken on the personality of Andrea Bargnani? The Knicks were much better last year. Sure, they are missing Tyson Chandler and that hurts them a lot. Bargnani had 11 points on 5-17 shooting and he only had 3 rebounds in 32 minutes. That's less than 1 rebound per 10 minutes of game time. The Knicks were outscored by 22 points when he played, which is the worst of all players for New York. The Knicks got blown out despite the fact that Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points on 12-19 shooting. In addition, Amar'e Stoudemire had 15 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.

On an unrelated note, it is getting tiring to read lazy opinions that are narrative-driven from national writers or media personalities. Haralabos Voulgaris of NBA gambling fame had the following to say about Dion Waiters after he made a ridiculously dumb pass in the second quarter which found its way into the third row:







Dion Waiters had a poor game against the Knicks. He’s a streaky player who has a lot of room for improvement. One would have to be the world’s biggest homer to not acknowledge that. Having said that, he also scores 14 points per game on 42% shooting. He is quite good at catch-and-shoot situations. He is by no means a finished product or a sure thing prospect, but he belongs in the NBA. Ironically, James Harden has a worse turnover rate than Waiters. He is sandwiched between Bradley Beal and Victor Oladipo in true shooting percentage of shooting guards. The ironic thing is that Victor Oladipo is averaging 3.7 turnovers, but you would be hard-pressed to find someone who wants to talk about that. He is shooting worse from the field and from the three point line than Waiters. By most metrics, he is playing worse than Waiters this season yet everybody loves him. Seeing a well-respected basketball mind question Waiters’ place in the league is beyond asinine.

The Cavs take on the Orlando Magic on Friday night. Tipoff is at 7:00 PM.



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