Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Sunday.
There is potential for an excruciating game Sunday night with both offenses struggling to score when the Charlotte Hornets (1-1, 0-0 away) pay a visit to the New York Knicks (1-1, 0-1 home) at the “World’s most famous arena” Madison Square Garden in New York, NY at 7:35 ET in a game televised nationally on NBA TV.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 187½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -109.
Shocked LeBron & Cavaliers
The Knicks were awful in their season opener here at MSG when they lost to the Chicago Bulls 104-80 in a game that was never close in the second half as Chicago extended a 10-point halftime lead by outscoring New York 31-17 in the third quarter. However, seemingly against all odds playing the very next night on the road in Cleveland, the Knicks ruined the return of LeBron James to the Cavaliers with a 95-90 upset.
The Hornets could easily be 0-2 since becoming, well, the Hornets again after changing their name back from the Bobcats as they needed to rally from a 24-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 108-106 in overtime in their season opener. They were not as fortunate in their second game being the losing NBA picks by an ugly 71-69 score to the Memphis Grizzlies. Both of those games were at home so Charlotte now hits the road for the first time in 2014-15.
Averaging Less Than 90 Points
Although the Knicks played much better in the upset of LeBron & Co. on Thursday, they still scored less than 100 points and have averaged just 87.5 points through two contests as they still try to get comfortable with the triangle offense. This is the style of offense that was employed by new team president Phil Jackson when he was the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the style of offense that made him a Hall of Fame coach.
The triangle was the main reason why Jackson selected Derek Fisher to be the Knicks’ head coach this season just a few months after the end of his NBA playing career, a career that ended when the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs back in May. You see, Fisher ran the triangle as the point guard under Coach Jackson, so while he obviously has no coaching experience at any level, his hiring makes sense in that regard.
Unfortunately, Fisher, Jackson and the rest of the Knick organization are being reminded that New York does not have the players that the Lakers did and converting to this new system will not make them any better. Sure, the Knicks have one of the best scorers in the NBA in Carmelo Anthony but he has almost zero support as the Knicks opening day lineup resembled that of a D-League team other than Carmelo. Thus, it seems this team will be hard-pressed to score points.
Horrendous Shooting Last Game
When the world last saw this Charlotte team, it was still know as the Bobcats and it gave LeBron’s former team the Miami Heat a nice battle in the first round of the playoffs last season. However, we are not sure this team is any better this season and the Hornets are now severely lacking at the power forward position.
The good news is that big man Al Jefferson is now healthy after being hobbled during that Miami series, but the bad news is that losing Josh McRoberts to those Heat is a blow to the aforementioned frontcourt as he provided nice points last season regardless of his role.
And after the amazing comeback vs. a poor Milwaukee defense, the Hornets could find nothing offensively vs. the Grizzlies scoring their mere 69 points on a disgusting 36.1 percent shooting. And do not forget that if not for the overtime in the opener, the Hornets would also still be seeking their first 100-point game of the season.
Two of Bottom Three Scoring Teams
And while it is early, the Knicks are second to last in the NBA in scoring with their 87.5 points and the Hornets are third from the bottom with their 88.5 points, with only the Detroit Pistons (86.7 PPG) worse than these two squads. While we get that we are talking about two games here, those averages are really not that much different than what was expected from these offense, so do not expect a sudden explosion tonight.
Therefore, let us go ‘under’ this total when Charlotte pays a visit to the Big Apple on Sunday.
NBA Pick: Hornets, Knicks ‘under’ 187½ (-109)