WIth the possibility that Carmelo Anthony could "shut it down" for the season due to knee injury, the New York Knicks are going to have to worry about "where are the points going to come from?" Tonight, the stumbling Knicks face Jason Kidd's Bucks who have had a surprisingly good season. Does New York have any chance in this game? See who we like as our NBA pick.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm ET tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. If the Knicks put up another stinker like they did in their last game against Detroit, we can expect the boo birds to be out early as the fans have just about seen enough of the Triangle Offense. This game can be seen on the MSG Network.
NBA betting odds are just starting to come out on this game as half of the Knicks teams is on the injury list. The Bucks are a 5.5 point betting favorite with no total provided as of yet. The main issue is that Carmelo Anthony is listed as doubtful and I would definitely not expect to see Melo lace them up tonight.
The New New York Knicks
We thought that the Triangle Offense would make the Knicks a new an improved team, but in essence it has backfired on them. Now, with a lot of players injured for a long period of time, we're getting to see what players like Cole Aldrich, Jason Smith, and Shane Larkin can do and although it hasn't been good enough to beat anyone at the moment, these are players with potential.
In his last 5 games, Aldrich has averaged 11.8 points and 9.8 rebounds and head coach Derek Fisher has shown a lot of faith in Aldrich and the coach has been rewarded. Although Shane Larkin comes off the bench, he has sparked many a run with his ability to penetrate and hit the 3-ball. Jose Calderon hasn't been a reliable starter and Larkin has been getting the minutes. The only negative to Larkin is his size defending against some of the larger guards in the league.
We get to Jason Smith. Smith is a blue collar player that can hit the 10 to 12 foot jumper with confidence and work the boards. Sometimes Smith creates some silly fouls, but at this moment, the Knicks need his production.
It has been noted by the announcers that some players won't be in a Knicks uniform at the end of the season, therefore there is incentive if they want to remain with the team. Tonight, they face a Milwaukee Bucks team that's overachieved and the Knicks will have to put forth their best effort in order to have any chance of winning.
Good Nights and Bad Nights
Even though the Bucks have fared much better than the Knicks, they're a very inconsistent team in the growth process. That said, at 17-17, head coach, Jason Kidd, has to be happy where the Bucks are at especially without Jabari Parker.
A huge reason, for the resilience of the Bucks has been leading scorer Brandon Knight. There's going to be nights like the Bucks last game in which Knight comes up big and it's just not enough as the Bucks lost to the Indiana Pacers, 94-91, but he's been playing the best basketball of his career.
For the season, Knight is averaging 18.1 points, 5.1 assists , and 4.1 rebounds per game. I look for him to have another big night tonight as the Knicks don't have a legitimate point guard that can stop him.
Other players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo have been a major factor in the Bucks re-emergence. Giannis can do it all but has been a force on the defensive end, averaging 3.3 blocks per game in his last 3 games.
I keep waiting for the Knicks to bust out with a good performance, but it hasn't happened. Until it happens, I'm going to fade them, even in their own building. Take the Bucks in this one and add them to your selection of NBA picks for today.
Free NBA Pick: Milwaukee -6.5 at 5Dimes