The Cavs got their championship rings and came out the gates rejuvenated and refreshed. LeBron James was doing LeBron like things; signature dunks, blocks, setting up teammates, and a triple-double for the fun of it. This season the Cavs are expecting more from Kyrie Irving as they rest LeBron, and tonight he stepped up and delivered in a big way. Irving scored 17 points in the third quarter as the Cavs blew open the game, and finished with 29 points for the game.
Going against the reign defending champs was a huge test for the new looks Knicks who are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in three years. If this game proved anything, it’s that the Knicks aren’t in Cleveland’s league just let. They still needed to developed an identity and chemistry. Rose missed most of the preseason because of the ongoing trial. Noah is still working his way back into game shape. Jeff Hornacek is in his first year coaching the Knicks and trying to move away from the Triangle. This Knicks team needs time to gel and play together.
Speak of Derrick Rose there were a few plays in the game where Rose go to the basket and looked like his old explosive self. Porzingis looks ready to make the jump in his second season in the NBA. The second year is crucial for rookies because you have one year of NBA experience under your belt, and your expected to make progress.
This game also exposed the Knicks most glaring weakness there bench or lack thereof. If the Knicks are going to make the playoffs they must get some type of production from there bench. Melo, Rose and Porzingis scored 52 of the teams 88 points. Noah and Lee both scored O points which is unacceptable. They also must get better defensively. Cleveland shot 47% from the field tonight.