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New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers: Preview, odds, player props, how to watch, more

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Knicks forward Julius Randle drives against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley.
Knicks forward Julius Randle drives against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley.
AP Photo/Nick Cammett

The New York Knicks look to snap a four-game losing streak when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who look likely to welcome back star Donovan Mitchell from injury. 

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 Cleveland Cavaliers (29-19) @ New York Knicks (25-23)

 

Game Details:

  • Location: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
  • Time: Tuesday, January 24th at 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Channel: TNT

Betting odds:

  • Spread: CLE -3.5
  • Moneyline: CLE (-165), NY (+140)
  • Over/Under: 221.5 points

Matchup:

The teams have split their two meetings so far this year, with each team winning at home. The Knicks won the last matchup 92-81 on December 4th, but things will be a little bit different now. The Knicks will limp into this game without both Mitchell Robinson (thumb) and Immauel Quickley (groin); meanwhile, the Cavs will get back Donovan Mitchell, who has missed the last week with an injury.

The return of Mitchell is huge since he’s ninth in the league scoring at 28.4 points per game. Considering the Knicks have already struggled immensely on defense without Robinson, having to face Mitchell will only make things harder. 

The Knicks have now given up 126.7 points per game since Mitchell Robinson got hurt, the second-worst mark in the NBA. Opponents are shooting 48.8% from the field and 40% from three, knocking down 14.7 threes per game. What’s more, the Knicks are second-worst in the league, allowing 16.3 offensive rebounds per game, and their opponents have an 11.7 plus/minus, which is 5th-worst in the NBA. 

The matchup also couldn’t be worse since Cleveland likes to attack the rim with Mitchell and Darius Garland and help create looks inside for big man Evan Mobley. The Cavaliers shoot the 11th-most shots at the rim and have the sixth-best shooting percentage on those shots. Without Robinson around to protect the rim, the Knicks may have no answer for the Cleveland offense. 

They will counter with Jericho Sims, who has played well in Robinson’s absence and hasn’t missed a shot in two games. He’s athletic and can guard on the perimeter as well, but he lacks experience and doesn’t have the same defensive instincts as Robinson.

However, it gets worse for the Knicks without Quickley. According to Cleaning the Glass’ Efficiency Differential, Robinson has the highest Differential of any Knick at +11.2, but the second-best mark on the team is held by Quickley at +10.7. Essentially, the Knicks will be without their two best defenders at the same time the Cavaliers get their best player back. 

That’s not good timing. 

 

Prediction:

Cavaliers 121 – Knicks 112

 

Top Player Props:

Jarrett Allen OVER 8.5 rebounds

We just talked about how the Knicks struggle in the paint without Robinson. Well, Allen is primed to take advantage of that. He’s averaging 9.6 rebounds per game this season and 10.5 rebounds per 36 minutes. I actually think you can bet this up to 0ver 9.5 rebounds if you want. 

WHERE TO BET? Fanduel Sportsbook at -114

 

Donovan Mitchell OVER 26.5 points

Without Quickley, I’m just not sure the Knicks can contain Mitchell. Yes, Quentin Grimes is a solid defender, but Tom Thibodeau seems to like subbing Grimes out more than RJ Barrett, which means Mitchell will see Jalen Brunson or even Evan Fournier for stretches. That’s, um, not a good strategy. Since Mitchell only missed three games, I don’t expect a lot of rust here. 

WHERE TO BET? Fanduel Sportsbook at -115

 

For more Knicks coverage, like this Cavaliers preview visit amNY Sports

Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Knicks
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) brings the ball up during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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