With no huge playoff implications I will set my NBA pick on the 'under' when New York visits Washington. I anticipate the game to be pretty slow paced and explain in detail why, here.
This is not the Suns versus the Warriors, we should see a pace that resembles a bit of back and forth with not a lot of easy transition points. Although digging in the stats we might think otherwise. In the last three games Washington leads the league in fast break points at 17.7 per game, the Knicks are ranked in about the middle of NBA in this same time frame. Upon further research to get us to reality, we see that Washington played the top two teams in offensive turnovers this season in Philadelphia and Houston in two of those three games. Surprisingly the Sixers only had 11 turnovers against them but the Rockets had 20. New York has been pretty average this year as far as turnovers and rank in the middle of the NBA, Washington turns the ball over a bit more actually but is still ranked in about the middle. As well, both teams don’t cause a lot of turnovers, and sorry to bore you, but yes they are both ranked in the middle of the league in defensive turnovers on the year. The point of this is the pace that goes with these stats, I think these teams will play a very average game, and most likely a pretty boring one, this leads me to believe they should go pretty well under the total of 192 set by the NBA odds makers.
Go and Stop
Recently both teams have been jacking up the ball at a reasonable pace. Washington has been involved in some up tempo games and are ranked 4th in the league in shots attempted the last three games at 88 per contest. This is way above their average on the year in the NBA where they rank 22rd in the league in this category at 82.4 shots attempted per game. The difference, as mentioned above, has been the opponent. The Wizards have been facing teams that like to push tempo and pace. New York the past three games is ranked exactly the same in this time frame as they have been for the year, at 22nd in the NBA, and yes that means they are tied in that spot with the Wizards. Although recently Washington has been the one running with teams I think the Knicks will help them settle things back down, run their sets, and play solid defense.
If you Don’t Shoot I Won’t Shoot
Because of the general theme of this write up it is not surprising that Washington is ranked number one in the league at 91.7 in shots attempted against them the past three games. This last week has been an anomaly and definitely not the norm for the Wizards. On the year the Wizards are ranked 11th in the league at 82.9 in opponent shots attempted per average, big difference than the recent trend. The Knicks are bad, but they do limit shots by their opponent. On the year they are ranked second in the league at 79.9 shots per game against them.
I think this past week we have seen an up tempo Wizards team run quite a bit, I also think this match up will bring them back to their normal defensive personality. On the year the Wizards are ranked second in the NBA in opponent field goal percentage at 43.5%. This game has all the makings of a much tougher, slower pace game than the odds makers are presenting. I am taking the under and I suggest you add this NBA pick to Friday's card.
NBA Pick: New York/Washington under 191.5 at The Greek