The Cleveland Cavaliers (3-3) will receive a much-needed boost tonight when they host the New York Knicks (1-3), as starting point guard Derrick Rose is expected to return after a four-game absence.
Rose sprained his left ankle in the second game of the season in Milwaukee after Bucks forward Greg Monroe fouled him hard on a drive to the hoop.
The awkward way Rose landed on his ankle was a direct result of Monroe’s foul.
Cleveland is 1-3 without Rose and the offense has looked stagnant. The team is clearly missing his ability to push the pace in transition and break defenses down in the halfcourt.
Rose is averaging 13.0 points in the two games he’s played in and has been getting to the rack at will.
Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue says while LeBron James has done a great job running the point guard spot since Rose has been sidelined, the club needs Rose back so that all the offensive burden doesn't fall on James's shoulders.
"We don't play with the same pace [when Rose is out]," Lue told reporters this past Friday. "You see with D-Rose at the point guard position, when you have a true point guard, they get the ball up the floor fast, they get it up with pace and we can actually run sets."
Big man Kevin Love admitted after the loss to the Orlando Magic that Rose gets the starters into their sets and is a big part of what they do offensively.
The hope is Rose's return to the lineup will spark the Cavs, as they enter tonight's contest on a two-game losing streak.