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National Basketball Association
Preview
New York at Cleveland
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 30, 2014
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans waited four years for LeBron James to come back and sat through the first two days of the regular season without getting a chance to watch the star in action. James will make his return with the Cavaliers when they host the New York Knicks in their season opener on Thursday. James reached the finals four times and won a pair of championships with the Miami Heat but decided to come home to Northeast Ohio.

The Knicks opened their season with 104-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday as Derek Fisher made his coaching debut. James’ return sparked a roster overhaul for Cleveland, which traded away a pair of former No. 1 overall picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves to bring in Kevin Love and surrounded the trio of James, Love and Kyrie Irving with veterans like Shawn Marion and Mike Miller. “I’m going to be extremely excited and happy to get back out on this floor,” James told reporters. “The meaning is still the same – it’s me preparing for a long journey to try to win a championship.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE KNICKS (0-1): A full season under the managerial direction of Phil Jackson and the re-signing of Carmelo Anthony in free agency led to some optimism in New York. All of that went out the window as the team fell behind by as much as 35 points and was booed by the home fans on Wednesday while getting double figures in scoring from only Anthony (14 points) and Amar’e Stoudemire (12). “We’re going somewhere, but at the beginning of where we’re going is going to be difficult to get wins,” Fisher told reporters. “We have to fight really, really hard to win games. It won’t be because we’re executing perfectly.”

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (2013-14: 33-49): James is not the only one making his debut, as Cleveland will be led by first-year coach David Blatt, who took the job before the return of the four-time MVP. “The excitement has been building, our building is going to be electric, the people are so enthusiastic about the team and so anxious to get this journey started,” Blatt told reporters. “So sure, we have a sense of (the excitement), and I hope we play that way.” The Cavaliers reached at least the Eastern Conference semifinals in each of James’ last five seasons with the club from 2005-06 to 2009-10 but have missed the postseason in each of the last four campaigns.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The teams split the four meetings last season, and New York earned a 107-97 win in its final trip to Cleveland on March 8.

2. Knicks G Jose Calderon (calf) was a late scratch on Wednesday and is day-to-day.

3. James averages 28.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 37 career games against New York.

PREDICTION:
Cavaliers 101, Knicks 93
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
New York 0-1 L2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1
Cleveland 0-0 L1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
New York Cleveland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/23/14 CLE 106 NY 100 100 34 45.5 106 33 60.9
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New York C. Anthony 32 40.0 12
Cleveland J. Jack 31 68.4 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New York C. Anthony 8 0 8
Cleveland S. Hawes 5 1 4
Assists Player  
New York R. Felton 8
Cleveland J. Jack 10
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New York C. Anthony 144 44.6 33
Cleveland N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New York A. Stoudemire 45 13 32
Cleveland N/A
Assists Player  
New York C. Anthony 20
Cleveland N/A
Quickchart Matchup
New York Off vs  Cleveland Defense
80.0 Points For
0.0 Points Against
36.5 FG%
0.0 FG%
38.0 Reb
0.0 Reb
Cleveland Off vs  New York Defense
0.0 Points For
104.0 Points Against
0.0 FG%
50.7 FG%
0.0 Reb
47.0 Reb