The reigning NBA champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers will open the 2016-17 NBA season campaign facing the New York Knicks on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Live Stream: NBC Sports
Schedule: October 25, 2016, Tuesday 7:30 p.m. ET
Projected Starting Lineup
Cleveland Cavaliers: PG- Kyrie Irving, SG- J.R. Smith, SF- LeBron James, PF- Kevin Love C- Tristan Thompson
New York Knicks: PG- Derrick Rose, SG- Courtney Lee, SF- Carmelo Anthony, PF- Kristaps Porzingis, C- Joakim Noah
The New York Knicks have made a major improvement on their roster this offseason, surrounding superstar Carmelo Anthony with quality players like Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Brandon Jennings. Kristaps Porzingis continues to develop his skills after establishing an impressive performance in his rookie year.
Last season, the point-guard play was one of the major problems of the Knicks so they entered the recent offseason looking for a top-caliber playmaker. They acquired Derrick Rose via trade and added Brandon Jennings in free agency. With the huge improvement on their roster, there is no doubt that the Knicks can be considered as a playoff contender who can threaten the Cavaliers in defending their title.
Meanwhile, after winning their first NBA championship title, the Cleveland Cavaliers have succeeded to bring back their core players. LeBron James and the Cavaliers are still the ‘team to beat’ in the 2016-17 NBA season despite the addition of Kevin Durant in the Golden State Warriors.
“I know teams switch and pick up new coaches or new players, and their whole goal is kind of they want to beat me,” James told cleveland.com, in a candid discussion about the upcoming year and his place in the sport at age 31, in this his 14th season. “It’s never just about me, but I always hear them, saying, ‘We gotta beat LeBron.’ It’s not just me on the court, but I understand that teams get together in this conference and across the league to try to beat me.”
It is interesting to see how Rose and Noah can help Anthony defeat the reigning NBA champions. LeBron James and the Cavaliers will surely make themselves felt in the first regular season game as the defending champions.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons