The New York Knicks (2-5) are off to an expected slow start with their new triangle offense, but are odds makers a little off the mark as New York is a 1.5 point underdog at home to the struggling Atlanta Hawks.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm ET tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This game can be seen on the MSG Network and NBA TV.
As stated earlier, the Hawks are installed as a 1.5 point betting favorite on NBA odds by 5 Dimes Sportsbook and the total for the game is listed at 194.
This is a fairly even game, but the Knicks have the advantage playing at home. They also have the top player in this game in Carmelo Anthony. At the moment, we don't see Melo's name near the top of the list in points scored in the NBA. Has New York's management made a mistake by hiring Derek Fisher and trying to turn this team into the championship Bulls and Lakers teams of the past?
Trying To Fit the Round Peg Into the Square Hole
Since we're talking about shapes regarding offenses, Carmelo Anthony, the biggest star on the New York Knicks squad since Patrick Ewing, is having a difficult time learning the triangle offense and it shows in his numbers and involvement in the offense. At times, the Knicks as a team,forget the triangle scheme and play an offense totally different than the triangle. Although this was expected, nobody expected Carmelo Anthony to have such a difficult time.
On the season, Anthony is averaging 19.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4 assists per game while shooting just 38.2 % from the field. In his last 4 games, Anthony is just 26 of 87 from the field. One former basketball star explained it best. Melo plays for the sake of playing basketball and less for the team. If he continues to play this way, Phil Jackson will have a real problem on his hands.
Another reason for the Knicks poor start is the change of starting lineups every game. Derek Fisher is looking to see what players work best together . Jose Calderon has been injured for the first 7 games of the season and the Knicks are hurting at the point guard position. Atlanta isn't overwhelming with talent. If Carmelo Anthony can get back into the swing of things, this implies a perfect time to place your NBA pick on New York. Place you
Another Easy Win?
Atlanta gets the rematch in the back to back, but this time it will be in front of a supportive Madison Square Garden crowd. The Hawks took the first game on Saturday,103-96 and I wouldn't expect to see Kyle Korver lead the team with 27 points again. Korver was 6 for 9 from 3-point land as the Hawks outscored the Knicks 55-35 in the 2nd half to overtake New York.
These are the same Hawks as last season. Aside from a great game from Korver ,the offense is led by the combination of Paul Milsap, Al Horford, and Jeff Teague. On Saturday, Horford managed just 6 points on 3 of 13 shooting from the field and the Hawks still managed to win the game. 9 out of 10 times, that won't happen. Look for Horford to have a more efficient game from the field and grab his rebounds while the Knicks still search for an identity.
What is comes down to is Carmelo Anthony has to play better for the Knicks to win the ball game. New York sports a weak starting 5 which features players like Shane Larkin, Samuel Dalembert, and Iman Shumpert.This simply isn't a good team. Look for New York to find a way to pull out a win against an equally poor Hawks team at MSG.
Free NBA Pick: New York +1.5 at 5 Dimes