New York Knicks (10-31) Vs Indiana Pacers (27-14)
January 11, 2019 7:30 PM ET (Madison Square Garden)
Spread: Indiana -8.5 Over/under 218.5
The New York Knicks will host the Indiana Pacers who will continue their playoff push at the famed Madison Square Garden. The Knicks, at 10-31 are one of the worst teams in the league and since this is a lost season, they will hope a high draft pick will have made all the losing worth it. The Pacers are 3rd in the East at 27-14, while the Knicks are the cellar dwellers nearly last in the conference, only ahead of the 8-34 Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Knicks are coming off a Tuesday night road loss to the Golden State Warriors, 122-95. Mario Hezonja lead the team in scoring with 19 points. The Pacers are coming off a Wednesday night road loss to the Boston Celtics, 135-108. Domantas Sabonis lead the team with 20 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists. The Knicks are 1-9 in their last 10, the Pacers are 7-3 in their last 10. The Pacers are lead by Victor Oladipo (19.9 ppg 5.9 rpg 5.1 apg) who is in the midst of another All Star Season. The Knicks have built a team that can loose games without issue and when players like Enes Kanter (14.4 ppg 11.0 rpg 2.0 apg) and Emmanuel Mudiay (14.1 ppg 3.0 rpg 4.1 apg) are some of their main contributors fans know they’re in for a long season.
One the nicest surprises for the Pacers has been the emergence off the bench of Domantas Sabonis (15.0 ppg 9.6 rpg 3.0 apg). With Thaddeus Young (12.5 ppg 5.9 rpg 1.6 apg) and Myles Turner (12.9 ppg 7.1 rpg 1.8 apg) usually starting at the 4 and 5, Sabonis has been their most consistent big man contributor, starter or otherwise. Sabonis will most likely start Friday’s game against the Knicks as both Myles Turner and Darren Collison are listed as questionable. For the Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis and rookie big man Mitchell Robinson are out and Enes Kanter and Frank Ntilikina are listed as questionable.
The Pacers have played the Knicks twice this season winning both games 107-101 and 110-99. The Pacers and Knicks score the ball at a similar rate, with the Knicks averaging 107.37 ppg and the Pacers averaging 108.12 ppg. The Pacers rank 21st in scoring, while the Knicks rank 23rd. But, the Pacers have proven to be one of the best defensive teams in the league ranking 2nd in points allowed at 103.07 ppg. The Pacers seem to play better defense at home allowing only 97.0 ppg, but on the road that number goes up to 108.32 ppg. If the Knicks can get the crowd into the game then they could pull off the upset, as the Pacers have been prone to give up more points on the road.
But, the Knicks defense is one of the worst, ranking 27th and allowing 115.83 ppg. The Pacers should be able to take advantage of the Knicks bad defense and utilize their well balance scoring attack to come out with a win. Take the Pacers in this one, but not to cover at -8.5, and take the over at 218.5. The Knicks should look to make this a high scoring game as that favors their style and possibly make it a close game.
Pick: Knicks +8.5