Baron Davis knows he has a lot of nonbelievers.
He wants to desperately prove them wrong.
He had 18 points and five assists in his Cavaliers' debut at New York on Friday. Davis, 31, has missed the previous three games since being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 24.
Davis said he doesn't pay a lot of attention to what's being said in the media, but his mother sure does. She informed him what everyone was saying after the trade.
"There were a lot of doubters," he said. "People were saying, 'I'm not going to come here. I don't want to be here. I'm going to give up.' That's more motivation to put a sock in everyone's mouth."
Even though his left knee is not 100 percent -- it might never be -- Cavs coach Byron Scott called him a top-five point guard when he's healthy.
"I believe so," Davis said. "I love the game. I study the game. I see the game a lot different than a lot of point guards in the league."
The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder has had three surgeries and one cyst on his left knee. He said he's been playing at "65 to 70 percent" efficiency this season.
"I'm feeling a little better," he said. "It's one of those things where it's not going to heal in three or four days.
"I've been playing hurt or catch-up all season."
Davis said the Cavs will likely place some restrictions on his minutes, at least at the outset. He's not concerned with back-to-back games.
"I don't want to play one game and then sit one game," he said. "I want to finish the season strong."
Davis said he hasn't been healthy since last season when he played 75 games for the Clippers.
"At no point this season have I been healthy," he said. "If I get to 100 percent, there's going to problems for a lot of people in this league. I have no problem saying that."
Scott said he's not sure when it will happen, but Davis will eventually replace Ramon Sessions as the starting point guard.
CAVALIERS 119, KNICKS 115: Baron Davis' debut with the Cavs was quite memorable.
He had 18 points and five assists in the Cavs' upset at Madison Square Garden on Friday. His three-pointer with 10.6 seconds left opened up a 116-112 lead.
The Cavs (12-49) didn't seal the win until Samardo Samuels drew a charging foul on Carmelo Anthony with 1.8 seconds remaining.
The Cavs are 3-0 versus the Knicks this season. They've also won 11 in a row overall, as well as the last five at the Garden.
Center J.J. Hickson paced the Cavs with 23 points and eight rebounds. The Cavs snapped a 26-game losing streak on the road.
Forward/center Amar'e Stoudemire tied a season high with 41 points and nine rebounds. Anthony added 29 points for the Knicks (31-29).
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.