By: Caleb Luketic
The Cleveland Cavaliers dominated the New York Knicks Sunday afternoon 101-83, and improved to 35-22 staying a half game back of Chicago for the 3rd seed in the East. The Cavaliers led by 20 points at one point in the first quarter. Kevin Love dominated the glass snatching 16 rebounds and putting up 16 points. J.R. Smith scored 17 in his return to New York, after being traded to Cleveland from New York in early January along with Iman Shumpert. Smith also had some extremely impressive dunks, one of them coming on an alley-oop from Shumpert in the 4th quarter. Also, LeBron James surpassed Allen Iverson for 22nd on the all time career-scoring list.
The Cavaliers didn’t play a top team in the East Sunday, but they did play extremely well as a team. The Cavs had 22 assists and held the Knicks to only 37% shooting. The Cavaliers earlier trades for Mozgov, Smith, and Shumpert have solidified the teams offense and defense, which begs the question, are the Cavaliers the team to beat in the East?
I think that the Cavaliers are the team to beat in the East, even though they aren’t the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta doesn’t have a super star on their squad who can lead their team to a victory in crunch time. They play extremely well as a team and can shoot lights out, but I just can’t see them going deep in the playoffs and beating the Cavaliers. Cleveland has the best player in the game and has built a solid team around him. The Cavaliers have a monster on the glass and on the defensive side of the court in Timofey Mozgov. The Cavaliers will have no problem scoring, but defense wins championships and the Cavaliers are building a championship contending defense.
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