What kind of follow-up act will we see from the Knicks after they shockingly beat the Spurs? The NBA betting odds are pretty much a toss-up for New York's matchup with Minnesota tonight.
The NBA odds are out and, if you can believe, the Knicks are favored! In a battle between the two teams with the worst records in the NBA, New York is laying one point on its home court.
The O/U is trading at 197.5 right now. The Timberwolves and Knicks rank 30th and 23rd respectively in scoring defense, but haven't exactly fared much better offensively, making a total play rather tricky this evening.
New York Knicks
Well, who saw that coming?
The Knicks were massive underdogs at home against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, and quite rightly so. New York has been tanking for essentially the entire season, and the Spurs were at full strength and needing a victory. However, the Knicks did the unthinkable, earning a 104-100 win inside Madison Square Garden. It was arguably the most ridiculous result of the entire season, and Gregg Popovich was rightly furious with his team.
On the flip side, Derek Fisher was ecstatic with his team's efforts, and he'll be hoping the Knicks can put together another great all-around performance against the Timberwolves. Alexey Shved and Andrea Bargnani have assumed most of the offensive responsbility for this team and have provided a needed scoring punch lately.
For those wondering, it looks like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Cleanthony Early will both miss out (both listed as doubtful) again tonight. Jose Calderon remains out too.
Despite missing the likes of Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Garnett, Gary Neal and Justin Hamilton, the Timberwolves still fought tooth and nail with the Raptors on the road last night. Minnesota shot 48.3 percent overall, 35.3 percent from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent from the line in the five-point loss. The Timberwolves did most of their damage in the paint, outscoring Toronto 53-38 inside.
However, it was pretty much the Kevin Martin show throughout. He was on fire from the get go and finished with 37 points on 14-of-28 shooting while adding seven rebounds. He hit five threes and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line. Ricky Rubio returned from a brief injury absence and only put up two points, but he did chip in with eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins scored 15 points in his return to Toronto, while Chase Budinger had 19 points off the bench.
We'll have to see what kind of injury updates we get throughout the day regarding Minnesota, but it seems likely that at least Garnett and Pekovic will miss tonight's game too. Keep checking back with SBRodds.com to see if there's any line movement following the injury news.
What a glorious game this should be.
Jokes aside, we're not going to overreact to New York's win over San Antonio. The Spurs were awful and the Knicks had their best game of the season. And while these two teams have identical (and awful) records, we think the Timberwolves are the far more talented teams, regardless of the status of some injured guys.
Rubio is back and he makes the Timberwolves a much better team, and you know the likes of Wiggins, Martin and Dieng are going to play heavy minutes. That's a much more "reliable" core of players than what the Knicks will bring to the table, and we were also impressed with how Rubio and company battled in Toronto last night.
In a battle of two teams that would be perfectly fine with a loss, it's difficult to put much faith in either side. However, we're going with the more talented bunch and will back Minnesota to bounce back after last night's loss with our NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves +1