Lock Knicks Plus Odds As The Sharp NBA Pick vs. Overpriced Hawks

Joe Catalano

Saturday, December 26, 2015 4:32 PM GMT

Tonight, the Knicks have the unenviable task of facing an Atlanta Hawks team which has won 5 games in a row. Can New York steal one here? See who will be our NBA pick inside.

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NBA Pick: Knicks +7
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. EST tonight at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The NBA odds have finally come out and they're quickly moving in the Hawks direction as Atlanta is a 7.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 201.5. We want to get a quick look at the injury report (as we should always do) and make sure that Carmelo Anthony is playing.

 

Melo is "Questionable" But Will Play
We took a quick look at a local fantasy league site and indeed, Carmelo isn't 100% going into this game, but it's confirmed that he will play this evening.

This is very good to know as Melo has been playing some inspired basketball lately. Instead of being the selfish shooter that he was in the past, he's buying into Phil Jackson's Triangle Offense and this opens up opportunities for rookie sensation, Kristaps Porzingis and veterans such as Jose Calderon and Aaron Afflalo.

 

Aaron Afflalo
Affllalo has taken over the lead as the 2nd highest scoring Knick as he's been looking to shoot more and has been draining his outside shot. This is a powerful 6 foot 5 off guard that's averaging 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting over 50% in his last 5 games.

It didn't seem like people were thrilled with the acquisition of Afflalo at the beginning of the season, but he has been an excellent pickup. Look for Afflalo to play well against Atlanta. They're a rather slow team and this will enable Afflalo offensive opportunities. Add in the factor that Kristaps Porzingis is in a minor slump and the veteran Afflalo's offense will be much needed in this ball game whether KP play's well or not.

One person that never gets credit for his offensive play has been journeyman, Jose Calderon. I don't know if you Knicks fans have noticed as the Knicks are shopping for a point guard, but Caldreron has been shooting the ball quite well as of late. The numbers absolutely don't show it, but Calderon has been hitting the timely jumper. Add in the play of Lance Thomas and the Knicks should give the veteran Hawks as run for their money.

Atlanta has been putting up the points as of late. During their 5 game winning streak, they've scored 103 points or more in each game.

 

2nd Tier Star
If I has to define what a 2nd tier star is, it what be a very consistent player; almost blue collar-like, that a team knows that they can count on and will occasionally come up with a huge game. Atlanta has one of these players in forward Paul Millsap.

Millsap has the size and the offensive touch. He doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but put's up the numbers and the wins accumulate as you notice with the Hawks record.

For the season, Millsap is leading the Hawks at 17.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per ball game. Atlanta is a veteran ball club in which a different player can lead the way each game, but Paul Millsap will produce every night and he's a major concern to the Knicks. Atlanta has guys that can put the rock in the hole, therefore I don't know if Millsap will lead the team with 30 points tonight, but he will produce consistent and expect more of the same against New York. Make the Knicks your NBA pick tonight.