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Portland Trail Blazers vs. New York Knicks - 12/28/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

New York Knicks (5-27) at Portland Trail Blazers (24-7)

NBA Basketball: Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Moda Center)

The Line: Portland Trail Blazers -13.5 -- Over/Under: 200 See the Latest Odds

TV: MSG, CSNW

The Portland Trail Blazers look to make quick work of the visiting New York Knicks on Sunday night in Portland.

The New York Knicks lost in OT last night, 135-129 against the Sacramento Kings.  The loss brought the Knicks losing streak to seven games, their overall record to just 5-27, and their road record to 2-14.  Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points in the loss, but the team’s shoddy defense couldn’t contain DeMarcus Cousins down low.  The Knicks defense could face a similar challenge here if LaMarcus Aldridge is active with an undisclosed illness, unless Amar'e Stoudemire suits up for action after seeing increased rest of late.  J.R. Smith is likely out for this contest, which gives Tim Hardaway Jr. another chance to maximize his minutes after averaging 15.2 points over his last five games, which includes 41.4% three point shooting.  The Knicks could start to improve offensively as young guys like Hardaway get more minutes in low-pressure settings, but the defense and rebounding are likely to slide further away from good where the team ranks 21st and 29th respectively at present.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. New York Knicks - 12/28/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers have to believe this is their year to contend as the team boasts a 24-7 record that includes a 13-2 mark at home.  The Blazers are 11-3 in the month of December and only one of the losses was a bad one against the TWolves, with the other two coming against solid teams in the Bulls and Grizzlies.  LaMarcus Aldridge sat out last game against the Sixers and has yet to be confirmed to suit up for this contest.  Damian Lillard can of course still be expected to produce at a high level though as the point guard enters averaging 22.1 points, 6.4 assists and five rebounds on the season.  Wesley Matthews is coming off two strong outings scoring 25 and 22 points, but more impressive than the totals was the 12-22 three point shooting that comes at the perfect time with the Knicks in town.  The Blazers are fifth in defense allowing 97.1 points per game and I would be surprised to see them allow the Knicks any better than that mark here.

The Knicks are an awful team to back right now but I can’t lay this margin without knowing that a healthy Aldridge is part of the equation for the Blazers.  It’s just a lean to the visitors.

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New York Knicks +13.5 (1 unit)

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