Oklahoma City Thunder vs. New York Knicks - 11/28/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New York Knicks (4-12) at Oklahoma City Thunder (4-12)
NBA Basketball: Friday, November 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -7.5 -- Over/Under: 185 See the Latest Odds
TV: MSG, FSOK
The Oklahoma City Thunder host the New York Knicks in an interconference battle of 4-12 teams.
The New York Knicks are off to a dreadful start in year one of the Phil Jackson presidential administration with a 4-12 record and generally sloppy appearance overall. New York is just 1-7 on the road this year with the win coming on opening night to upset the Cavaliers in their debut game. The Knicks struggle to score the ball averaging just 95.3 points per game and they’re a middle-of-the-road team defensively allowing 99.6 points per game. Carmelo Anthony leads the team in scoring with 23.2 points per game but the all-star forward is likely to miss this contest with a back injury after sitting out the team’s most recent loss in Dallas. That leaves the scoring burden largely on the shoulders of J.R. Smith, who scored 15 points last time out, but he did so on 7-20 shooting which included a 1-8 mark from three point range. Jose Calderon was really the reason the Knicks were competitive last time out, scoring 21 points on 7-9 three point shooting, seemingly summoning an extra gear while playing against his former team in the Mavericks. Amar'e Stoudemire has been productive at PF averaging 11.6 points and 7.5 rebounds, considering that these averages are coming from just 23.5 minutes per game. The minute restriction likely won’t change for the veteran which really leaves the team scrambling for contributions from the team’s young bench.
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
The Oklahoma City Thunder are a different story at 4-12, since the fan base can at least absorb the lousy output knowing that injuries to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are largely to blame. The Thunder snapped a six game losing streak last time out by defeating the Jazz 97-82, overcoming a ten point first quarter deficit to eventually cruise to victory. Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka once again led the way for the Thunder as the duo is the only real source of continuity the team has at this stage in terms of contributions. Jackson is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game and Ibaka is averaging 15.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. Jeremy Lamb was a big catalyst in the most recent win with 21 points on 7-8 shooting including a perfect 3-3 mark from downtown, but the third year player has been extremely inconsistent this season struggling to find a nightly role for the team. The Thunder can’t score the ball well as currently constructed but they at least have some competency on the defensive end allowing just 94.1 points per game to rank 4th in the league.
The Thunder appear to be a hungrier and better-coached 4-12 team so I will ride them here as long as the spread is right. The Thunder’s inability to score makes them a stretch to cover more than a bucket or two and the Knicks have enough talent to compete given that both teams are relying heavily on reserves. Please check back when the line is released for a confirmation on my pick and unit rating but I will be on the Thunder from -1 to -3.5. Beyond that I’ll be taking the underdog Knicks.