It’s been 4 months since we’ve had NBA basketball. Today is the start of a new season and it will start off with a ring ceremony for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers had a historic year this past season. They were the first team to ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.Not only did they come back from a deficit, they did it against a 73 win team who had just previously come back from a 3-1 deficit. Everyone thought the series was over due to the circumstances, but, that’s not how it worked out. Cleveland played it’s best basketball down the stretch winning 2 of 3 games at Oracle Arena. Cleveland had never won a major championship since 1964. LeBron James changed that and delivered on his promise. Now, the Cleveland Indians are in the World Series and they will be playing on the same day as the Cavaliers home opener. This truly is Cleveland’s year.
The Cavaliers retained most of their team. They re-signed LeBron James to a 3 year – 100 million dollar contract. In JR Smith’s case, it took some time for both parties to agree, but, eventually JR got a 4 year- 57 million dollar contract. That put the Cavaliers as the richest starting 5 in NBA history. They lost Matthew Dellavedova to the Milwaukee Bucks and Timofey Mozgov to the Los Angeles Lakers. They were able to add Chris Anderson from the Memphis Grizzles and Mike Dunleavy from the Chicago Bulls. The Cavaliers are poised to make another run at an NBA title this year.
The New York Knicks had an interesting offseason. They were looking to add pieces to the team that could help Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks make the playoffs. Pressure was on management to make a splash. You can’t get away with mediocrity for so long in New York City. They hired Phil Jackson to improve the team as fast as possible. We’re not sure if he did that yet, but he’s added some solid pieces to give the Knicks a chance at a playoff spot. They added Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah from the Chicago Bulls. They also added Courtney Lee from the Charlotte Hornets and Brandon Jennings from the Orlando Magic. The Knicks lost some pieces as well. They lost Arron Afflalo who’s with the Sacramento Kings, (SAC), Jose Calderon who’s with the Los Angeles Lakers, (LAL), Robin Lopez who’s with the Chicago Bulls(CHI), and Derrick Williams who’s with the Miami Heat.
Derrick Rose is an interesting piece for this New York team.Everyone is well aware of this injury history in Chicago. It was clear he needed a new start. He said he feels great heading into this year and is in good shape. We’ll see if the Knicks can create some noise. One thing that’s clear is expectations have risen with a household name like Derrick Rose coming in.
Projected Starting Lineups
Cavaliers Starting Lineup: Tristan Thompson – C, Kevin Love – PF, LeBron James – SF, J.R Smith – SG, Kyrie Irving – PG
Knicks Starting Lineup: Joakim Noah – C, Kristap Porzingis – PF, Carmelo Anthony – SF, Courtney Lee – SG, Derrick Rose – PG
Opening games are usually ugly, especially with the Cavaliers being in their building on ring night. Emotions will be high. While one team is established, the other wants to have a good start to the season. Both teams had average preseasons. In their last 3 meetings against each other in the Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavaliers went 2-1. The average score was 92.3 for the Cavaliers – 88.3 for the Knicks. The Cavaliers are favored by 9.5 points.I like the Knicks to give them a fight, but, still lose.
Prediction: Cavaliers win 95-90 at home