Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks
Time: 6:35 PM CT (NBA League Pass)
Spread: GSW -10
Betting odds c/o Pincle
The New York Knicks are still hanging around at 23-26, trailing No. 8 Detroit by just 2.5 games. The Knicks have been patently mediocre and are 14-10 at home this season where it will hosts the NBA’s best team, the Golden State Warriors.
NBA oddsmakers are favoring Golden State by 10 points, with an over/under at 218.5. The game will air at 6:30 PM Central on NBA League Pass.
The Knicks snapped a four-game skid with a 102-84 win over the Phoenix Suns last night. Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis both returned to the lineup, and Anthony had 19 points on 5 of 14 shooting while also grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing eight assists.
Porzinigis had seven points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Every Knicks starter posted a plus/minus of +17 or greater, and the Knicks led 58-42 at halftime.
The 7’3” Porzinigis has to be in the running for Rookie of The Year. Karl-Anthony Towns has played roughly as well, but the Knicks are the ones chasing a postseason berth while Minnesota lingers near the bottom in the West. Porzinigis is averaging 13.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while posting a PER of 18.61. Over his last four games, he has tallied 12 points, six rebounds and 2.5 blocks/steals per game, but the Knicks were defeated handily in three of those games.
Anthony is still the workhorse for the Knicks in terms of usage, but there is a gradual shift to involving Porzinigis more as the season wears on. Anthony is averaging 21.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game as the only Knick with a PER greater than 20 (20.8).
2-guard Arron Afflalo has been a solid addition for the Knicks and is second on the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from three-point range. Afflalo was an under the radar signing that has helped New York assert itself as a playoff team this season. Afflalo is shooting 42.1 percent from three over his past five games while averaging 13.8 points over that span.
The Warriors are 43-4 on the season now, as the team continues to chase the 72-win season by the 1996 Chicago Bulls. The Dubs have won six straight games with the most recent being a narrow 108-105 victory over the hapless Philadelphia 76ers. Harrison Barnes hit a last second three-pointer that lifted Golden State over the Sixers. Nevertheless, Philly out-scored the Warriors 33-17 in the game’s final quarter.
The Warriors got 55 points from its starting backcourt, and Draymond Green flirted with another triple double with 10 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. Green is averaging 11.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and six assists per game over his past five contests. Green had 22 points and 11 rebounds in the 122-110 win over the Indiana Pacers on Jan 22, and he could be in for a big night tonight.
Porzingis will challenge him on drives, but Green should be able to get Kristaps away from the basket with his court stretching triple. That would open things inside for the likes of Barnes and Klay Thompson to get to the basket more.
Thompson is averaging 21.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game this year, while shooting 46.9 percent from the floor and 42.6 percent from three-point range. In many respects he is the perfect complement to Stephen Curry, as both are such great long distance shooters that the Warriors are able to outpace any opponent.
For though the Warriors score 115 points per game, it also holds opponents to just 102.5. With a 12.5 point differential, one would expect that the Warriors lead the league in differential. In fact, San Antonio is +13.3, and as amazing as Golden State has been this year, it holds just a four-game lead on the Spurs for the Best Record in the West.
That is what makes tonight’s game just as pivotal as any other for the Warriors. They may be chasing destiny and a 72-win season, but there is plenty of competition on the board this season, and the Spurs represent it. Golden State may be double-digit favorites in this contest against New York, but the Dubs wear a bullseye every night on its back, and the Knicks are playing for something too, even if a playoff berth seems pretty humble against the reigning NBA champs.