Detroit at New York
Time: 6:30 PM CT (NBA LP)
Spread: NYK -3.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Detroit Pistons are six games below .500 and currently seeded No. 9 in the Eastern Conference standings. Detroit trails No. 8 Miami by 1.5 games for the East’s final playoff spot.
The Pistons have lost three of its last four games, with losses to the L.A. Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks. It also defeated Dallas over that stretch.
The Pistons surrendered a 25-point lead in its loss to the Clippers, losing 101-111 in a disappointing affair.
Reggie Jackson shot 11 of 22 for 29 points in the loss, and Blake Griffin added 24 points, six assists, and 11 rebounds while posting a +1 mark for his 42 minutes of play. Despite those standout performances, the Pistons shot just 42 percent in the game and were out-rebounded by a nine-rebound margin.
The Pistons have been strong defensively in allowing just 108.3 points per game, but its offense has not got the job done: Detroit averages just 105.5 points per game, ranking No. 25 in the Association. It is No. 26 in assists per game, at just 22.1 per contest. Detroit connects on just 11.4 threes per game at a 33.3 percent clip and it shoots just 43.3 percent from the field on the season.
The New York Knicks most recently made waves by trading franchise forward Kristaps Porzingis before he made his way back from injury. The Knicks acquired some nice pieces in the swap, not least of all was point guard Dennis Smith Jr, who now (arguably) becomes the face of this Knicks’ franchise. Most importantly, though, the Knicks cleared enough cap room to go after two max free agents this summer, which will undoubtedly be the real heist of the trade after those max spots become two superstars, assuming they both do.
The Knicks need it. The team is just 10-42 this season and it has lost 13-straight games. Most recently, the Knicks were obliterated by another non-playoff team in the Memphis Grizzlies. Smith had just eight points on 3 of 9 shooting, the Knicks shot a disgusting 37.8 percent from the field in the game. The other key cornerstone of the franchise, Kevin Knox, also struggled in hitting just 5 of 18 from the field en route to 17 points.
Both Knox and Smith have shown plenty of promise in their young careers, but the Knicks will not put shape and form to this team until it dips its toes into free agency this summer. The Knicks lack depth, lack top-end talent, but it does have both Knox and Smith who presumably could fit in well with a couple of superstars. No matter what the case, Porzingis had repeatedly expressed frustration with the franchise, which ultimately led the Knicks to deal the superstar to Dallas where he will now team up with superstar rookie Luka Doncic.