NBA Picks: Porzingis is Knicks' Key to Success When Facing Thunder

Joe Catalano

Friday, November 20, 2015 4:04 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 4:04 PM GMT

Can the Knicks pull off a 3rd consecutive victory, this time against Oklahoma City Thunder, which would give them a winning record? Let's find out as we provide you with our top NBA picks.

Tip-off is scheduled for Friday, November 20th, at 8:00 p.m. EST at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. According to NBA odds, the Thunder are a 6.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 206.5. Kevin Durant will not be playing and that means we're going to see a ton of Russell Westbook. This ought to be a very competitive game as the New York Knicks are starting to make their mark under the Fisher-Jackson regime in the NBA.

 

Less Melo, More Kristaps?
Phil Jackson has accomplished his goal of getting the Knicks out of the basement acquiring getting players on this New York Knicks squad that have a "team first" mentality. One example of this is in their 102-94 win over the Charlotte Hornets. At one point in the game, 4 out of the 5 Knicks starters fell to the ground and as a collective unit, they each picked eachother up. If that's not the definition of the word team, I don't know what is.

Jackson has also made possibly the best pick in the 2015 NBA Draft with the highest upside in Kristaps Porzingis. Against the Hornets, Porzingis scored a career high 29 points to go along with 11 rebounds. If people were wondering if Porzingis' body could take the physicality of the NBA, they got their answer as Porzingis has excelled off the offensive boards and has posterized some of the greatest players of all time; Tim Duncan is one example.

Porzingis can do it all. He can shoot the 3-ball, rebound the ball with authority, and is a clutch basketball player during crunchtime. "Linsanity" was a phase in New York while the Knicks have a superstar for the next 15 to 20 years in Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony is buying into the integration of Porzingis into the starting lineup.

For the season, Porzingis is averaging 12.8 points and 8.6 rebounds and these numbers will only get better. Superstar, Carmelo Anthony and Porzingis have built somewhat of a chemistry as being the two best players on the team and the Knicks fans love this kid, chanting his name from the MSG raftors. It doesn't get much better than that.

Along with Anthony and Porzingis, the Knicks finally have a healthy Aaron Afflalo and the instant offense that he brings to a team and lastly, Langston Galloway has went from to the D-League at the beginning of last year into a serious offensive threat. Galloway has been practicing his 3-point shooting in the off-season and time and time again, he's been draining the 3-ball. Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka will have their hands full in this game.

 

Westbrook or Curry?
I'm not going to answer that, as Curry has a championship and a better supporting cast, but Russell Westbook has learned to become a complete player, producing triple-doubles on a regular basis.

Westbrook is certainly the better athlete, but Curry's basketball I.Q. is out of this stratosphere and he's simply a better shooter. Nonetheless, Westbrook has been a flatout beast as his statistics indicate.

For the season, Westbrook is averaging 28.1 points, 10.4 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game. I certainly think that Westbrook is a better player when KD is not in the lineup, but in order for the Thunder to win, they need Durant in the lineup and the defense of Serge Ibaka.

Due to injuries, the Thunder haven't been able to get over the hump where the post-season is concerned, but in a regular season game against a Knicks team attempting to gel, they are the rightful betting favorite.

For your NBA picks, look for New York to keep this game close as they are starting to look like a very formidable basketball team. That said, Kristaps Porzingis is the key to success as New York has been having difficulties in the 4th quarter of games and the starters need to be in there and produce. This means, staying out of foul trouble for "KP".

Free NBA Pick: New York Knicks +6.5 at 5Dimes

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