Bet Bulls vs. Knicks to go Under

Jason Lake

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12:21 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 12:21 PM GMT

The New York Knicks have lost yet another player to injury, but they won’t get any sympathy from the Chicago Bulls or the NBA betting lines on Wednesday.

Jason’s record on his final NBA picks for 2013, up to December 10 inclusive:

19-18 ATS

4-5 Totals

Just when you thought the New York Knicks might be pulling out of their season-long slump, they turn right back into pumpkins. The Knicks were mostly lifeless in Tuesday’s 109-94 loss to the awful Cleveland Cavaliers (–2.5 at home), just two days after coming out flat in a 114-73 laugher against the hated Boston Celtics (+5.5 away). Those two losses drop the Knicks to 5-15 SU and 6-14 ATS. Great Caesar’s poutine, that’s some bad basketball.

Maybe if the Knicks had an energetic power forward, like a Kenyon Martin. Except a healthy version – preferably the ’04 model. Martin (13.9 PER) missed both those games for New York with sore ankles, and he’s expected to be a game-time decision for Wednesday’s matchup with the Chicago Bulls (8-11 SU, 7-12 ATS). The NBA lines for this contest had yet to be released as we went to press. 

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Attention K-Mart Shoppers

If you’ve been following the Knicks at all, you know they’re in deep trouble right now without center Tyson Chandler (20.2 PER). There aren’t many viable big men on the New York roster, and Martin is one of them. It’s been 10 years since K-Mart made the All-Star team, and he hasn’t been the same since undergoing microfracture surgery on both knees in 2005 and 2006. But Martin still plays with a chip on his shoulder, and there hasn’t been much sandpaper in New York’s game without him on the court.

Speaking of microfracture surgery, PF Amar’e Stoudemire played 27 minutes off the bench against the Cavaliers, and as he often did last year, Stoudemire (11.3 PER) filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, five rebounds and a pair of blocks. His minutes and production level are both starting to rise, but Stoudemire has yet to play the second of back-to-back games this year, and as we go to press, it’s anybody’s guess whether the Knicks will risk playing him on Wednesday.

Deng Fever

You may have heard a few things about the Bulls and their injury problems. It gets worse: SF Luol Deng (18.0 PER), who has been carrying this team on his back, has a swollen Achilles’ tendon and missed the last two games for Chicago. That includes Tuesday’s 78-74 loss to the woeful Milwaukee Bucks, who cashed in as 6-point road dogs on the NBA betting lines. The Bulls are now 2-6 SU and ATS since PG Derrick Rose was lost for (presumably) the rest of the season.

Deng had an MRI on his ankle, and it came up negative, so there’s a chance he’ll be able to play on Wednesday (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN). We’re still not sure about center Joakim Noah (15.9 PER), who was a surprise scratch on Tuesday with a bruised thigh. You can be sure the Knicks would much rather face the likes of SF Tony Snell (10.2 PER) and even PF Taj Gibson (17.0 PER), who’s playing the best basketball of his career right now.

Chronic Teague Syndrome

With all these injuries, Chicago is practically begging to be faded in the second leg of back-to-back games. Consider their point guards: Kirk Hinrich (10.3 PER) played 40 minutes on Tuesday and missed all 10 of his field-goal attempts, finishing the night with one point. Back-up Marquis Teague (minus-2.6 PER) wasn’t much better, shooting 1-for-7 for two points. Maybe we’ll see some of Mike James (minus-3.7) at the Garden. Yeesh.

Problem is, the battered and bruised Knicks are in the same boat. So I’m going to do the gentlemanly thing and recommend the UNDER in the dark. Meanwhile, watch the injury reports as they come in, and if Deng and Noah play, consider following the Bulls in this matchup.

NBA Pick: Take the UNDER

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