Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks Free NBA Picks, Odds and Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 2/27/2014
Golden State Warriors (35-23) at New York Knicks (21-36)
NBA Basketball: Friday, February 28, 2014 at 8 p.m. EST (Madison Square Garden)
The Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks will do battle Friday night in a game that will be nationally televised by ESPN. While the Warriors will have Thursday night off, the Knicks will be in Miami taking on the Miami Heat. Golden State and New York haven’t played so far this season. They split their season series last year, with each team winning on their home court.
Golden State started a bit slowly, but the Warriors have been playing good basketball of late. Not much has gone right so far this year for the Knicks, but since they play in a weak Eastern Conference and an especially weak Atlantic Division, they aren’t completely out of the running for a playoff spot just yet. These are the games the Knicks will have to win, though, if they are going to play their way into the postseason.
Warriors at Knicks Betting Story Lines
What has held the Knicks back this season? Carmelo Anthony summed it up well earlier this week when he said, “Everything that could go wrong is going wrong.” It seems there are always off-the-court problems for a team like the Knicks, but they have more than their fair share of issues on the court as well. In the past, New York has been able to cover up their bad defense by outscoring the opposition with their highly-efficient offense. That offense has been mediocre so far this year. The defense is still toward the bottom of the league.
The Knicks are getting far too many bad shots, and they aren’t hitting a high enough percentage of them. J.R. Smith shot 42.2 percent from the floor last year, but that number has slipped to 38.7 percent this year. His ineffectiveness on the offensive end has really hurt the team. Smith isn’t the only one. Raymond Felton knocked down 36 percent from three-point range last year, but he is hitting only 29.6 percent this season. Anthony has actually shot the ball better than he did last year, but there’s clearly too much pressure on Anthony offensively right now. Elite teams find a way to force someone else to beat them in the clutch.
Golden State is a unique team in that they like to run the floor, but they still play some very good defense. Most teams who get out in transition offensively aren’t any good on the defensive end, but Golden State is a Top-5 defense in the NBA. That’s what makes this team so difficult for opponents to match up with. Golden State is fully capable of winning a very high-scoring game, but they are also completely capable of winning an ugly defensive battle.
The Warriors have three guys who average more than 17 points per game. Stephen Curry leads the team in scoring at 23.8 points per contest, but David Lee and Klay Thompson aren’t far behind. Any one of these guys can light it up and lead the Warriors to a victory. Golden State is especially tough to beat when Harrison Barnes is providing the team with a fourth scoring option. Barnes has been up and down this year, but he does average 10.1 points per game. Andre Iguodala was the Warriors big offseason pickup, and I think he makes this team much more dangerous. Iguodala is the facilitator on the offensive end that this team missed last year.
Warriors vs. Knicks NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Golden State Warriors are listed as 4.5-point road favorites for this Friday night matchup, according to current odds from BetOnline. The posted total in this one is set at 201 points. Golden State is 0-5 ATS in their last five Friday games. The Knicks are 0-5 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning percentage of 60 percent or higher. The Warriors are 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings between these two teams. The “over” is 7-2 in the last nine meetings between these teams.
Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks Free NBA Picks and Betting Predictions
This is a really tough spot for the home team. New York plays a huge game in Miami Thursday night, and you have to imagine they’ll be at a little less than 100 percent for this game. Golden State has the day off Thursday, and they are coming off a humbling loss at Chicago. Golden State is a much better team than New York, and when you combine the scheduling spot it makes this an even stronger play. Look for the Warriors to cover the number and win comfortably.
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