Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm ET tonight at Madison Square Garden, in New York, N.Y. This game can be seen on MSG TV.
Very Little Respect
NBA odds shops list the Knicks as a 9 point betting favorites and the total for the game is listed at 188. The Knicks were thought of as a championship contender and a total of 9 points is quite low; anything under double-digits shows that the Knicks are being underestimated and not getting the proper respect against one of the worst teams in the league in the Bobcats.
Late Runs and Turnovers
The New York Knicks have looked like the team from the pre-Carmelo Anthony days in which they would be chasing big deficits with comebacks only to come up short in the end. The Knicks have played from behind against the Bulls and the Timberwolves, made the games interesting, but eventually loss both games. They’re averaging 17 turnovers per game and along with Carmelo Anthony 37.7% shooting from the field, this equates to losses.
Tonight, the Knicks are playing a team that has no offense and got beat up by the New Orleans Pelicans by 21 points on Saturday in the form of the Charlotte Bobcats. New York will not only look to win the game, but to make an emphatic statement with a blowout. The Bobcats defense has played well, but will that be enough to knock off the Knicks at home and break their ugly road streak of 17 consecutive losses?
Other than Carmelo Anthony (21 ppg, 11 rpg, 3 apg) and former Bobcat Raymond Felton, nobody has stuck out for the Knicks offensively. Andrea Bargnani has been a disappointment thus far. This gives the Bobcats hope, but they must show the ability to provide some offense.
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No Jefferson, Big Trouble
The Bobcats must need a collective group effort to make up for the offense that Al Jefferson provides when he plays. Thus far, Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have surprisingly been unable to crack double-digits in points and the Bobcats need someone to step up if they want any chance of competing in this game. Their leading scorer, Kemba Walker, is coming home to New York and you can expect a solid game out of the Bronx native. Ramon Sessions is also coming off of a big 22 point performance in the loss to New Orleans. Henderson has provided a lot of offense in previous years and could be the key contributor or “x factor” if you will.
The other problem for Charlotte is stopping Carmelo Anthony. Although Melo hasn’t played up to his career averages, he’s one of the biggest scorers in the NBA and with the Knicks team that’s being put on the court tonight, Anthony could go for 30 plus points and this would create major problems for a shorthanded weak team like Charlotte. When the Knicks are home, they’re a different team. There’s a magic in the air of Madison Square Garden and along with the supportive fans, this puts Charlotte at a major disadvantage.
When it comes to placing you NBA picks tonight, you have to love the 9 point spread in siding with the Knicks. Charlotte is a poor team with Al Jefferson, but without him, they’re a disaster. Look for the Knicks to have a big game tonight and crush the Bobcats.
Pick- New York Knicks -9 at Bet 365