You have to really enjoy NBA basketball to watch and bet on Wednesday night's ghastly 76ers at Knicks game as the teams have combined for just 14 wins this season.
Dare to Dream: 2 Straight for Knicks?
Back on Nov. 2, the New York Knicks beat Charlotte 96-93 for their second straight victory to improve to 2-1 on the young season. That's been the high point so far and the only time the Knicks have put together back-to-back wins. They have another shot to do so Wednesday as New York ended a franchise-record 16-game losing streak with a 99-92 home win over New Orleans on Monday night.
The Knicks caught two great breaks in that game. First, the Pelicans played without their two best players in forward Anthony Davis and guard Jrue Holiday, who were both out injured. Second, it was the second game in 24 hours for the Pelicans and end of a draining five-game road trip over just seven days. When I wrote about the Knicks' ineptitude last week here at SBR, I had targeted that New Orleans game where the Knicks would end the skid. So you are welcome.
Carmelo Anthony, who has been in and out of the lineup of late with his knee problems, had 24 points and nine rebounds against the Pelicans. Jose Calderon, who is very available on the trade market, hit a key 3-pointer with 32 seconds left to give New York a four-point lead. Other than Anthony and Calderon, the Knicks started three stiffs in Jason Smith, Langston Galloway and Lou Amundson, the latter two of whom are on 10-day contracts. Galloway has earned another contract, averaging 12.0 points and 3.0 assists in five games; he had 21 vs. the Pelicans.
New York still has the NBA's worst record at 6-36 and is well on pace to lose 70-plus games. It is 14-27-1 against the NBA betting spread and 19-22-1 'over/under.'
Trying to Find the Bright Side ....
The 76ers (8-33) have lost two straight games and continue to have the worst points differential in the league at minus-12.7. It's also the lowest-scoring team at 90.0 points per game. The Sixers come in off blowout losses Saturday in Detroit and Monday in Washington.
Two guys missed that Washington game in guard and leading scorer Tony Wroten (16.9 points per game), with a sprained right knee, and forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who was a late scratch with a bruised left knee. Wroten, who has missed four straight, won't be back Wednesday as the team flew him to California to see a specialist. That's a double whammy for the 76ers as they were hoping to trade Wroten. Mbah a Moute is questionable for Wednesday. He averages 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in 28 minutes per night and is a good defensive player.
How sad is the Philly roster? The team recently signed Larry Drew III to a 10-day contract. He's the 12th undrafted player to be part of the Sixers roster this season, which is the single-season record for the most undrafted players to be on a team’s roster over the course of a season, and we still have half a season to go. The previous mark was 10.
Philadelphia is 19-22 against the spread and 15-26 'over/under' on NBA odds.
Before Monday, the Knicks' last home win was way back on Nov. 22 when they were 11-point favorites on NBA odds and beat these 76ers 91-83. Anthony scored 25 points, while Amare Stoudemire added 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Knicks dropped the 76ers to 0-13 on the season. Calderon made his season debut in that game off an injury. The Knicks still had J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Samuel Dalembert back then. They all played significant minutes in the game and totaled 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Philadelphia was led by rookie Nerlens Noel's 17 points and 12 rebounds. New York has won three straight in this series dating to last season and two in a row in Philadelphia.
NBA Free Picks: Add Knicks at pick'em to your NBA picks (or even if a slight favorite by tipoff) and the 'under.' New York has covered three of its past four road games vs. teams with a losing home record. The road team has covered five of the past six in this series. The 'under' is 8-1 in Philly's past nine overall.