As far as basketball betting odds go, the Golden State Warriors are the only thing standing between the Cleveland Cavaliers and back-to-back NBA championships. However, on Tuesday, October 25th at the Quicken Loans Arena, the New York Knicks will give the Cavs an idea of what it’s like to go against a super team. At least, that is how New York’s new point guard Derrick Rose envisions things going down. “With these teams right now, they’re saying us and Golden State are the super teams,” Rose said during an interview with NBA.com in July. Rose declined to specify who “they” are, but for my money, it’s a toss-up between the Illuminati and the Rosicrucians.
Rose went to add that expectations are “high” for the Knicks this season. And that’s not only thing that’s high if the former MVP actually believes that his current team is anywhere near the same league as the Warriors. In fact, the Knicks are to the Warriors what the Super Friends cartoon show is to the Justice League live action movie. The point being that, even with the basketball betting odds yet to be determined by the top sportsbooks (because the game is not for another week, at least as of this writing), the Cavaliers are the overwhelming favorite to start the regular season with a win over the Knicks.
The only thing that the Cavs and the Knicks have in common heading into the season opener is that both teams conducted business with the Chicago Bulls during the offseason. Former Bulls head coach and current Knicks president Phil Jackson sent Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon, and Jerian Grant to Chicago in exchange for Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 2nd round-pick. Additionally, the Knicks signed erstwhile Bulls center Joakim Noah to a four-year, $72 million contract. Unfortunately, even at 28 years of age, the injury-prone Rose may be past his prime physically – and maybe mentally too, if he really, truly thinks that the Knicks are a super team like the Warriors.
The Knicks have also brought in shooting guard Courtney Lee and point guard Brandon Jennings. Lee averaged 8.9 points, 1.2 steals, 2.1 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 28 minutes per game in 28 regular season games with the Charlotte Hornets in 2015-16. Jennings had 7.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds, and 18.1 minutes per game in 25 regular season games with the Orlando Magic last season. Even if they were to genetically splice those two players together, the end result would fall a little wee bit short of a Kevin Durant.
The Cavaliers, on the other hand, didn’t make a lot of waves in the free agency market; they didn’t even trade Kevin Love (at least, not yet) as many basketball betting fans expected them to. The one thing they absolutely had to do they did, which was to re-sign NBA Finals MVP LeBron James, which should be enough to make them a super team. “They’re trying not to build that many super teams,” Rose said in the aforementioned interview. I would not worry about that if I were you, Derrick.