Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks - 12/21/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New York Knicks (5-24) at Toronto Raptors (21-6)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm (Air Canada Centre)
The Line: Toronto Raptors -12 -- Over/Under: 197 See the Latest Odds
The Toronto Raptors look to take care of business against the sputtering New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon in Toronto.
The New York Knicks lost for the fourth straight time on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Suns and dropping their record to 5-24. Things haven’t been pretty on the road for the Knicks at 2-12, so it feels unlikely this team will be able to get the job done against one of the top teams in the East in this spot. The Knicks are getting ample production out of Carmelo Anthony, who is averaging 23.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, but the rest of the team has been lacking as New York ranks 29th in points scored with just 93.8 per game. Defense hasn’t been much better allowing 99.7 points per game to rank 15th, and that stat could even look worse if the Knicks offense didn’t drain so much shot clock struggling to find an open man. Amar'e Stoudemire didn’t play in Saturday’s loss to Phoenix, but it appears as though the team was simply resting him for a bigger conference clash on Sunday. Stoudemire is averaging 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game despite averaging just 26.6 minutes. Tim Hardaway Jr. might be the bigger factor to watch though, as the young SG is averaging 17.4 points over his last five contests, during a stretch where he’s averaged 35.2 minutes after seeing just 20 minutes for the bulk of the year. The Knicks could certainly use more performances like Saturday’s out of Jose Calderon as well, as the veteran scored 21 points in what’s been a lackluster scoring campaign.
USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Raptors are taking care of business as they enter this contest on a five game winning streak to boost their record to 21-6. The Raptors have a serious home court edge at 13-3 on the year and the team has really done well to withstand the injury to DeMar DeRozan who is arguably the team’s best player. Kyle Lowry has been a big factor for a Raptors offense that ranks third while scoring 107.4 points per game; Lowry is posting 19.4 points, 7.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds while turning the ball over just 2.2 times per game. Sixth man Lou Williams is second among active players with 14.4 points in just 22.8 minutes per game. Jonas Valanciunas leads the team down low with nine rebounds and 12 points per game but the Raptors would probably like to see more out of Amir Johnson, who is posting just 5.3 rebounds and 9.9 points this year. The Raptors are allowing 98.7 points per game defensively to rank 13th in the league.
The spread is pretty hefty here at 12 points but we know that the Knicks can really get pummeled when they lose. It's a lean at best to the visitors here.