Cleveland is favored by just 1.5 points over the Knicks at home.
New York is currently riding a three-game losing streak, but they were not awful their last time out. The Knicks were able to cover the 5 point spread against the 76ers on Saturday, but they still ended up losing that game 90-87. It was a three pointer by Tobias Harris with about 28 seconds left in the game that sealed the victory for Philadelphia. Now, the Knicks have a much more manageable game at home as they get ready to take on the Cavaliers.
It has been another tough year for the Cavs, which has become pretty common for Cleveland ever since Lebron’s second departure. The Cavs’ 12-31 record is just slightly better than New York’s 11-32 record. Furthermore, the Cavs have been playing about as badly as the Knicks after losing four straight games, including a two point loss to the lowly Chicago Bulls on Saturday. The Knicks are also on a losing streak right now, so when these teams meet on Monday, we will be seeing a stoppable force going up against a movable object. One of these teams has to win!
It has not been pretty for the Cavs. After starting the season 4-5, Cleveland has had multiple losing streaks that lasted five games or more. They are hoping to avoid another five-game losing streak Monday at Madison Square Garden. It seems that the lone bright spot for the Cavs has been the emergence of Collin Sexton as one of the more talented young guards in the NBA. Sure, he isn’t playing like Trae Young or Luca Doncic, but the second year man out of Alabama is currently leading Cleveland in points with 19.2 per game. Kevin Love is also having a quietly productive year. The former All-Star is averaging a double-double this season (17.4 PPG, 10.2 RPG). Tristan Thompson is also averaging a double-double for the Cavs. Outside of those three guys though, Cleveland has basically struggled all year.
These teams have played each other twice already and have managed to split the season series thus far. The first matchup between the Knicks and the Cavs resulted in a blowout win for Cleveland. Back in November, the 4-5 Cavs dominated the Knickerbockers 108-87 at home. Collin Sexton was lights out in that one, putting up 31 points on a night where he shot the ball 10 for 16 from the field. On the other side, just three New York players were able to record double-digit scoring figures. The second matchup between these squads was completely different. In that mid-November meeting at MSG, the Knicks stomped the Cavs 123-105 in a game where they never trailed. It was Julius Randle and Marcus Morris Sr. who lead the Knicks with a combined 53 points in the win. Now, these teams are getting set to face off for a third time.
A spread of 1.5 points is basically a pick ’em game. I don’t think that this game will be won by a single point. With that being said, I also don’t think that Cleveland will win this game. Marcus Morris looks to be back to full health. Also, Julius Randle has been a big factor in the season series so far, averaging 25 points per game against the Cavaliers. RJ Barrett will once again be out, but I expect the Knicks to still come out on top of Cleveland on the road. I think New York will not only cover, but win this game outright. I like the Knickerbockers on the road over the Cavs.