Free NBA Picks: Knicks at Nets Odds
by Alan Matthews - 12/4/2013
I really didn't want to write about the New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets matchup in the TNT Thursday opener this week. Both clubs will be on the network's doubleheader often this season -- sorry, no flexing schedules in the NBA -- so I will be forced to write about them plenty later in the season. However, the two franchises are in such disarray -- to my utter enjoyment -- that I couldn't help myself.
At this point it will be an upset if Knicks coach Mike Woodson and Brooklyn's Jason Kidd make it to the end of the season. Woodson led the Knicks to a terrific 18-6 finish to the 2011-12 season in place of the fired Mike D'Antoni and then was a Coach of the Year candidate last season as New York won 54 games and its first division title in nearly two decades. However, with New York off to a 3-13 start, on a nine-game losing streak and second-to-last in the East, there are reports that Woodson might actually be fired if New York doesn't beat Brooklyn on Thursday. So says the New York Post, although that paper tends to like making its own headlines.
The Post says Knicks owner James Dolan, who already gave Woodson a vote of confidence, is "obsessed" with the Nets and their potential to steal market share in the Big Apple. So if the Nets rout New York in this one, it might be the last straw. Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy has been rumored as a replacement, but he has turned down better jobs, so I highly doubt he leaves a cushy TV job for that mess. Carmelo Anthony said this week that the players are "worried" that Woodson will get canned if they don't play better.
At least Woodson has shown previously he is a good coach. Not so Kidd, who was the Knicks' locker-room leader a season ago (Anthony says they miss that leadership). The Nets are 5-13, and Kidd has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. There was that obvious spilling of a drink on the court last week to get an officials' timeout when the Nets didn't have one in the waning seconds of a game. A big reason the Nets took a shot on Kidd was because he convinced them that former NBA coach Lawrence Frank would be his right-hand man and tutor him. Well, Frank was "reassigned" this week as the two apparently weren't seeing eye to eye. Frank now is essentially a secretary, filing reports to the team but not attending practices or games. He will be paid $1 million a year for the next five seasons. Nice gig.
Knicks at Nets Betting Story Lines
Certainly the struggles of both teams can be attributed to injuries. Knicks center Tyson Chandler suffered a fractured right fibula on Nov. 5 and is hoping to return maybe next week. He's perhaps the team's most important player. Obviously Carmelo is the best player, but he's just a scorer. Chandler IS the Knicks defense while also a good rebounder and shot-blocker. No surprise, then, that New York is 26th in rebounding (40.5 rebounds per game). J.R. Smith has been terrible this season and is dealing with knee issues that delayed the start of his season. He'll continue playing, but he's nowhere near the player he was last regular season. So you can see why New York is also 26th in scoring (92.8 points per game).
The Nets haven't had their most important player, point guard Deron Williams, since really Nov. 13 because of an ankle injury. He played briefly in two games since then but none of the past seven. He makes that offense go. Tyshawn Taylor has started at the point the past two games to predictable results. For example, in Tuesday's home blowout loss to Denver, the Nets were minus-19 when Taylor was on the court. The news got worse on Monday when Paul Pierce was ruled out 2-4 weeks with a fractured hand, which he injured in Friday's loss to Houston. Pierce has been lousy this season and Kevin Garnett worse. Key bench players Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry also remain out. So you are seeing guys like Taylor, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee, Mirza Teletovic and Tomike Shengelia get significant minutes. Those five wouldn't win a D-League title.
At least the Knicks could get well under the cap after next season should they choose to. The Nets are stuck for years. These teams split four heated meetings a season ago.
Knicks at Nets NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, New York opened as a 1.5-point favorite with a total of 188.5. The Knicks are 4-12 ATS (4-4 on road) and 7-9 “over/under” (1-7 on road). The Nets 6-12 ATS (2-5 at home) and 9-8-1 O/U (4-3 at home). New York is 1-6 in its past seven after an ATS loss. The Knicks are 0-4 ATS in their past four after allowing 100 or more points in their previous game. Brooklyn is 0-4 ATS in its past four against teams with a losing record. The under is 6-0 in the Knicks' past six road games. The over is 6-1 in the Nets' past seven following a loss of more than 10 points. The under is 6-2 in the past eight meetings.
Free NBA Picks: Knicks at Nets Betting Predictions
That's all you need to know about the Nets: they are home dogs to a team on a nine-game skid. Frankly, it's good for the Knicks it's not at MSG as they are 1-7 there. I really don't know what to do here with the total. Knicks can't score, Nets can't defend. So it could be 82-80 or 102-100. I've at least heard of all the Knicks' players, and Anthony can win a game by himself, so I'll lean the Knicks and under in must-not-see-TV.
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