OffshoreInsiders.com Senior Writer Vegas Matty
It’s the New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers point spread preview. With new addition Carmelo Anthony in tow to go alongside fellow All-Star Amare Stoudemire in the frontcourt, the New York Knicks (29-26) will look to break a nine-game series losing streak against the Cleveland Cavaliers (10-47) on Friday. Anthony has averaged 36.5 points in his previous two trips to Cleveland and hopes to build on a memorable debut at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday after arriving in a blockbuster trade with Denver.
The former Syracuse star scored a team-high 27 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds in his first game with the Knicks, leading them to a 114-108 win over Milwaukee. But Anthony was not the team’s only new player who thrived at the Garden, as point guard Chauncey Billups totaled 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds. New York won its third consecutive game straight-up and will now try to cover three in a row away from home.
The Knicks went all in to get Anthony and Billups, trading four of their starters to the Nuggets late Monday for two All-Stars. They also got to keep rookie guard Landry Fields, who has shown promise and should be able to learn a lot from the veteran Billups. The main concern right now is a lack of depth inside since former reserve Ronny Turiaf has become the team’s starting center.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have beaten New York nine straight times, including a 109-102 overtime victory earlier this season without departed star LeBron James. They have earned seven of their 10 wins at Quicken Loans Arena and got rid of another pair of James’ former teammates on Thursday when they dealt point guard Mo Williams and forward Jamario Moon to the Los Angeles Clippers for point guard Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round draft pick.
Davis probably will not arrive in time to make his first start for Cleveland but could contribute off the bench in relief of Ramon Sessions, who is averaging 19.7 points and 9.2 assists in February as the starter. The Cavs have covered three of their last four games, starting with a 126-119 overtime win against Davis and the Clippers two weeks ago that broke their NBA-record 26-game losing streak. He scored 26 points and dished out seven assists in that game.
If past history is any indication, bettors should expect another high-scoring game between these two teams. The OVER is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings and has cashed in the past five games overall for Cleveland along with 12 of 14. The Knicks have surprisingly seen their last two road games go UNDER the total along with three of four overall.
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