Pre-Game: Knicks vs. Cavaliers- 12/15/12

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

The Knicks face the Cavs in New York, likely without Carmelo Anthony.

Good evening, friends. Or good afternoon from Colorado, where I'll be for the next week. The Knicks play the Cavaliers at 7:30 this evening. It'll be on MSG and, in addition, there's a free League Pass trial this weekend, so y'all out of market folks should be able to watch as well (and this is a most serendipitous occasion for my vacatin' self, too).

Carmelo Anthony is not expected to play for the Knicks tonight, which has previously meant a starting spot for Kurt Thomas. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving, who has a jaw fracture, will play for the Cavaliers. I really think he shouldn't play because a jaw fracture sounds serious and come on man take it easy, but he's gonna play. Dion Waiters is not expected to play. One more kinda nice absence: Darrell Walker won't be on the bench for New York tonight because he graduated from college today. Congratulations, Coach Walker!

And who are the Cavs? Well, we know they have a tendency to beat the Knicks. New York's won two of the last three match-ups, but Cleveland won 12 of the 13 before that (granted, some of those included LeBron James, who is good). These Cavs are quite a bad team on both ends of the floor. They're a talented rebounding group, though-- Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson have the potential to drive Tyson Chandler into a seismic fury with their activity-- and pretty good at forcing turnovers. And jaw fracture or not, Kyrie Irving is exactly the kind of guard who can shred the Knicks defense.

So yeah, 10-0 at home is on the line and, terribleness aside, the Cavs might be feisty enough (depending on their energy after a close loss in Cleveland last night) to deny the Melo-less Knicks that hallmark. I have a bad feeling about this one. Yes, that's kinda silly, and yes, I've said that before pretty much every game, but still...bad feeling.

Game thread later!

Update: Rasheed Wallace is also out. Chris Copeland will start at power forward!!!!

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