CLEVELAND, OH, Sporting Alert – Tuesday night’s opener against the New York Knicks is expected to be the first of several tough tests for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the defense of their NBA title.
The season opener at Quicken Loans Arena will be live on TNT and streaming live on TNT Overtime, starting at 7:30pm ET.
CAVALIERS TO START WITH WIN
LeBron James and the Cavs are confident about the team that has been assembled to take a stab at winning back-to-back crowns, and Las Vegas Odds are backing them as 9.5-point favourites to get the season off to a winning start.
The Cavaliers dropped four of their six preseason games, including the last four, as coach Ty Lue used the time to work on different lineups and integrate players into the system he will use this coming season.
New York Knicks, in the meantime, who added more top pieces their roster than any other Eastern Conference team in offseason, went 4-2 during the NBA warmups and they are confident about making the playoffs this campaign.
KNICKS ADDED MAJOR PIECES
The likes of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee will help to take some of the pressure off Carmelo Anthony and many, including NBA analyst and former coach Jeff Van Gundy, believes the Knicks have a real chance to 50+ games this season.
Van Gundy, however, noted that all of this will depend on the fitness and health of new point guard Rose, who has been plagued by injuries in past few season.
Meanwhile, after averaging 35.6 minutes during the 2015-16 regular season, Lue said the main thing is to cut down the amount of minute James plays this coming season.
“He understands that we want to keep his minutes down, and when there’re games where it makes sense to take off, we’re going to take those games off,” Lue told reporters.
“We’re being smart about the situation. We have one goal in mind, and that’s winning a championship.”
NOTE: The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls, who will feature LeBron James’ very close friend, Dwayne Wade, are expected to battle, alongside the Indiana Pacers, for the Eastern Conference Central Division title.