Knicks May Ruin LeBron’s First Trip To Garden As Member Of Lakers

Friday, March 15, 2019 1:40 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 15, 2019 1:40 PM UTC

It’s a marquee matchup that really isn’t one early Sunday afternoon on St. Patrick's Day when LeBron James and the Lakers visit the New York Knicks.

<p style="text-align:center"><strong>Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Sunday, Noon ET</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Free NBA Pick: <a href="" target="_blank">Knicks ATS</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=BetOnline" target="_blank">BetOnline</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3568923, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,999998,93,169,999996], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>How bad have things gone for the Lakers and Knicks this season? I would have bet any amount of money that their meeting this Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day no less, from the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden in New York, would have been nationally televised. It’s the two biggest media markets in the country and two of the NBA’s signature franchises. Yet, it’s nowhere to be found on the national schedule with a noon ET tipoff.</p><p>Frankly, it does both teams better to lose and improve their draft lottery chances, although the Knicks are all but a lock to finish with one of the three worst records (probably the worst) and those three teams now all have the same chance of winning the lottery (14 percent). That the Knicks suck is no shock, but that the Lakers are playing out the string obviously is.</p><p>Still, I expect LeBron James to have a <a href="" target="_blank">big game here</a> because Madison Square Garden is his favorite venue in the NBA. Need proof? Earlier this season in his final game against best buddy and former teammate Dwyane Wade of the Heat, the two met for a postgame conversation on the court where it could be heard of LeBron telling Wade: “it was either here or the Garden." A lot of Knicks fans went into a frenzy, thinking that there was a chance James was considering signing with their team this past offseason. Uh, no. James later said it was more about the prestige of the Garden than about his interest in signing with the Knicks.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;iframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture\" allowfullscreen&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;"}[/]</p><h2>Bet Lakers Or Knicks ATS?</h2><p>Thus, big numbers likely on tap for LeBron here. His teams have nine straight games at Madison Square Garden, his last loss coming over five years ago while playing for the Heat. LeBron also has two 50-point games at MSG (50 in 2008 and 52 in 2009), one of only two players to do it multiple times since the current version opened in 1968. The other of course being Michael Jordan, who also got jacked up to play in the Garden. Overall, LeBron averages 28.2 points at MSG in his career. MSG is the only arena he has topped 50 points twice – he has 12 50-point games total.</p><p>New York does try for the unlikely season sweep as it won 119-112 in L.A. on Jan. 4 -- the Knicks’ only victory in a stretch of 27 games. They entered on an eight-game skid and then lost 18 in a row afterward. James was out with his groin injury back then. The three Knicks’ leading scorers were Tim Hardaway Jr. (22 points), Trey Burke (16) and Enes Kanter (16). Hardaway and Burke are now with Dallas (part of Kristaps Porzingis deal) and Kanter in Portland (bought out).</p><p>Brandon Ingram led the Lakers with 21 points, and Lonzo Ball had 17 points and six rebounds. They are both out for the season. Kyle Kuzma joined James on the sideline due to injury but Kuzma is good now.</p><p>For what it’s worth, the Lakers are 4-6 in their past 10 at the Garden. L.A. could be gassed here as it the fourth game of a five-game trip through the Eastern Conference and third game in four days and fourth in six. Plus, there’s that early start time (9 a.m. Pacific) and the fact the Lakers have a bigger game in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Plus, L.A. is just 3-7 SU &amp; ATS in its past 10 as a road favorite. <a href="" target="_blank">Take the Knicks and the points</a>.</p>
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