BRO @ NYK
Time: 6 PM CT
Spread: NYK -3
Betting odds c/o Bovada
The New York Knicks have been a surprise team this season at 9-10 and it will host crosstown rival Brooklyn in a game oddsmakers are favoring the Knicks by 3-points.
Kristaps Porzingis has been a huge part of the Knicks turnaround. The 7-foot-2 Latvian forward has been one of the best, if not the best, of the 2015 rookie class. The No. 4 overall pick has become a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden. Porzingis is averaging 13.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.74 steals/blocks per game while posting a PER of 19.8, nearly as good as that of team leader Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony has struggled at times this season and is shooting just 40.8 percent from the floor. He still leads New York in scoring at 21.6 points per game, but Anthony’s shot just 9 of 29 from the floor over his last two games. In the 99-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers Wed night, Melo was just 5 of 16 from the floor in 26 minutes. Shooting guard Arron Afflalo has been big for the Knicks and is shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from three-point range.
Rounding out the rotation, Langston Galloway, Jose Calderon, Derrick Williams and Robin Lopez have all been effective. Lopez is playing his role as a premier defender and averages seven points and six rebounds in 24 minutes a night.
Galloway is in his second season and is a good utility swingman who can knock down the triple. He leads the Knicks in three-point percentage at 43.5 and Calderon is just behind him at 40 percent.
The Nets are struggling along at 5-13 this season. Center Brook Lopez is having a fairly good season despite the struggles and is averaging 20 points and eight boards per game. Stretch-4 Thaddeus Young is second on the team in scoring at 15.3 points per game and the former Timberwolf and 76er is shooting 51.9 percent from the field. Jarrett Jack has struggled a little with his shot at 41 percent, but the real goat thus far has been shooting guard Joe Johnson.
Johnson is shooting just 35 percent from the floor in averaging 11 points and 3.8 assists per game. With his production having fallen off so precipitously, it has left the Nets without its strong second option after Lopez offensively.
Accordingly, the Nets are averaging just 95.7 points per game this season. Shane Larkin and Andrea Bargnani have been borderline rotation players at best and will have to step up if Brooklyn’s second unit is to keep it in games. Bargs is averaging just 13 minutes per game while scoring under six points. Lopez has had to do more work on the boards and had been anemic on the glass before.
It is difficult to imagine this Nets team rebounding and making the playoffs given the underwhelming talent it has. Letting Mason Plumlee and Bogan Bodjanovic has decimated its depth and left the Nets lacking in second quarters.
The Nets are happy to have cut ways with a disappointing Deron Williams, but it really lacks any defining talents and at least Williams was that at times. Everyone knows what is coming from a guy like Jarrett Jack, as decent as he has been over his NBA career. Brooklyn is winding up for a high draft pick, and maybe Nets fans are already starting to lick their chops over LSU’s Ben Simmons.
Barring Brooklyn obtaining a franchise player it is prepared to enter a major overhaul and maybe this is the February that we finally see Brook Lopez as part of a trade. The Nets could obtain a younger player or a draft pick for Lopez who is really the Nets only legitimate starting talent. The rest of the underwhelming lineup lends us to believe this is definitely a lottery team.