The NBA season is upon us. A self appointed super team is going to be matched up against an actual super team that won the championship earlier in the year. The New York Knicks will face a stiff test on opening night when they do battle against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In keeping up with tradition, the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to accept their NBA Championship rings on their own home court when the season opens up on Tuesday. Jeff Hornacek wants the New York Knicks to witness the event because he wants them to be upset, as reported by CBS Sports.
To beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks are going to need to play especially inspired basketball. Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love have finally found chemistry on the court, and that has filtered on down to the rest of the roster. The Cavaliers are an extremely hard team to beat, even for the best teams in the NBA.
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Upon joining the team, Derrick Rose generated some headlines by declaring that the New York Knicks are a super team in the same fashion as the Golden State Warriors, as reported by CBS Sports. That drew ridicule from fans and might actually inspire loaded teams like the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers to target the Knicks.
While the New York Knicks have yet to prove anything, they do seem to have a roster that can provide the Cleveland Cavaliers with some competition on opening night in the NBA.
Derrick Rose is no longer the same player that he was when he won the NBA MVP award. Injuries have robbed him of elite status. Kyrie Irving still holds that status. Rose not only has to stop Irving, he also needs to provide some sort of offensive spark.
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are good friends, but they are also rivals. The two of them will certainly battle it out on Tuesday night. Anthony needs two more victories to tie up the personal series, so he might feel a bit more motivated than James. The game could be dictated by these two.
Kristaps Porzingis improved tremendously over the summer, and he’ll get to test out his new skills against an All Star power forward in Kevin Love. The former UCLA Bruins star usually hovers around the three point line, so Porzingis is going to need to show that he can close out on defense.
During his peak, Joakim Noah was one of the best at pulling down rebounds in the NBA. Tristan Thompson is currently pretty ferocious at that task. Noah will get to test himself out against a younger player with a ton of energy. It’s a good way to see if he is capable of being a starter again.
For weeks, JR Smith and the Cleveland Cavaliers struggled to come to terms on a new contract. The deal has now been done. Smith has been paid, so he needs to put up some points. Fortunately for the New York Knicks, they signed Courtney Lee, who specializes in defense against perimeter scorers.
A key for the New York Knicks is to have newly signed guard Brandon Jennings doing some damage off the bench. Matthew Dellavedova decided to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency, so the Cleveland Cavaliers do not have someone to slow down Jennings.
Even though it is just the first game of the NBA season, the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers might put on quite a competitive show. The former is trying to spoil the fun and prove themselves while the latter are trying to keep the celebration going.
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]