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

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

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

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!!!!