The Los Angeles Lakers head to the Big Apple to take on the New York Knicks at the Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
Los Angeles is coming off a hard-earned 121-116 win over the Detroit Pistons in a game where they lost LeBron James to an ejection after throwing a blatant elbow on Isaia Stewart. James earned a one-game suspension because of his actions and will be out for only the second time in his career due to suspension. The Lakers are 9-9 on the season and are in 4th place in the Pacific Division team standings and 9th in the Western Conference.
New York lost to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. The Knicks are just 4-7 in their last 11 games and have dropped to 9-8 on the season after a strong start. New York is currently in third place in the Atlantic Division and is tied for 8th place in the Eastern Conference. Center Mitchell Robinson has been placed on the concussion protocol while veteran big man Taj Gibson is expected to miss his second straight game with a groin injury.
The Lakers avoided another disaster when they came from behind to defeat the Detroit Pistons last Sunday. Los Angeles looked on its way to a fourth straight loss but the team rallied without LeBron James who was ejected in the third quarter for hitting Isaiah Stewart’s face with a blatant elbow. Anthony Davis made the big defensive plays and baskets down the stretch to get the Lakers back to the .500 mark at 9-9.
Anthony Davis leads the Lakers with 24.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. Russell Westbrook is scoring 19.3 points per game while also averaging 8.2 rebounds, 8.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. LeBron James has played in only 8 games this season and he is averaging 22.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 2.0 steals per game.
Los Angeles ranks 5th in scoring at 109.9 points per game this season. They are 8th in passing at 23.9 assists per game and are 13th in rebounding at 45.8 boards grabbed per contest. However, the Lakers are giving up 112.3 points per game which are ranked 28th in the entire NBA.
The Knicks were off to a strong 5-1 start but they are just 4-6 SU in their last 10 games played. New York has averaged only 101.8 points per game and shooting 42.5% from the field during this stretch and their inability to put up points has been the reason for their struggles. The Knicks have scored more than 103 points only once during these six losses and New York scored only 103 against the Bulls on Sunday.
Julius Randle is having another All-Star-caliber season for the Knicks. The 7th year big man is averaging 20.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game this season. RJ Barrett is putting up 14.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while Evan Fournier is scoring 12.1 points per game. Derrick Rose is contributing 12.0 points off the bench while Kemba Walker is scoring 11.7 points per game for the Knicks.
New York ranks 16th in scoring at 107.3 points per game. They are 16th in rebounding at 45.3 rebounds per game and are 25th in passing at 21.9 assists per game. The Knicks are 17th in scoring defense at 106.8 points per game allowed.
The Lakers are 2-4 SU in their last six games played. Los Angeles is 2-4 SU in six road games played this season but 6-3 SU in their last nine games against the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are 2-4 SU in their last six games played. New York is 4-5 SU in nine home games played this season but 4-1 SU in their last five games against the Western Conference.
Head to head, the Lakers have won three out of the last four meetings between these two teams.
After a strong start, the Knicks have regressed and are now a middling team in the Eastern Conference. The team has been playing inconsistent basketball as of late and it’s only Julius Randle who has been the team’s lone bright spot, averaging 20.4 points, 10 rebounds, and even 5.1 assists per game.
The Lakers have also struggled as of late and have dropped not only in the team standings but also in the Championship, Western Conference, and Pacific Division odds boards. Although the Lakers snapped their three-game losing skid on Sunday, they had to come from 15 points down to beat the lowly Detroit Pistons.
With LeBron James suspended for one game, the Lakers are going to be without their leader again. Although they have Westbrook and AD, both have not been able to get their teammates playing at the same level as them, something that James does well.
The Knicks are coming off a letdown against the Bulls but in their last 10 games, New York has bounced back to win four times after five different losses and they have only lost two straight games twice this season. Between these two inconsistent teams, I trust the Knicks more.
Prediction: New York Knicks
Los Angeles is 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games played. The Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games played on the road, 0-5 ATS in their last five games against the Atlantic Division, 6-20 ATS in their last 26 games after a straight-up win, 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven road games against an opponent with a losing home record, 1-7 ATS in their last eight games against an opponent with a winning straight up record, and 8-21 ATS in their last 29 games after scoring 100 or more points in their previous game.
New York is 1-5 ATS in their last six games played. The Knicks are 1-5 ATS in their last six games played at home, 1-4 ATS when their opponent scores 100 or more points in their previous game, 1-4 ATS in their last five home games against an opponent with a losing road record, 1-5 ATS in their last six games when their opponent allows 100 or more points in their previous game, 1-7 ATS in their last eight games when scoring 100 or more points in their previous game, and 0-4 ATS in their last four games when playing on one day rest.
Head to head, the Knicks are 5-1 ATS in their last six games played against the Lakers. New York is also 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings in New York.
Both these teams have struggled against the spread this season but at -2.5 points, it’s not asking too much from the Knicks whose last four wins have been by at least five points.
These teams went 1-1 last season with the Lakers winning by two at Staples and the Knicks winning by 8 at the Garden. Both teams have won five games in their last 10 meetings but when it comes to covering the spread, the Knicks are 7-3 ATS in those 10 games and 5-1 ATS in their last six games against the Lakers.
Prediction: New York Knicks -5.5
The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by the Lakers. The over is 4-1 in their last four road games against an opponent with a losing home record, 3–1-1 after allowing more than 100 points in their previous game, 3-1-1 in their last five Tuesday games, and 7-3-1 in their last 10 games when their opponent scores 100 or more points in their previous game.
The total has gone under in the Knicks’ last seven games played. The under is 7-0 in the Knicks’ last seven games after an ATS loss, 6-0 after allowing more than 100 points in their previous game, 7-1 in their last eight home games against an opponent with a losing road record, 8-2 in their last 10 Tuesday games, 24-8 in their last 32 games after a straight-up loss, and 4-0 in their last four home games.
The arrival of Russell Westbrook has sped up the Lakers’ game. Los Angeles is averaging 109.9 points per game this season, 5th highest in the league. The total has gone over 214 points in four out of the Lakers’ last five games played and with L.A. giving up an average of 113.4 points per game this season, 28th in the NBA, they are always a favorite to go over the total.
Meanwhile, the Knicks like to play at a slow pace but in order to beat the Lakers who have the size advantage over them, New York has to speed up the game and match the Lakers’ offensive production. Not only can the Knicks do that, but they also have the firepower to do so.
These teams have combined to score an average of 219.5 points per game in their last 10 head-to-head meetings. The Lakers’ defense has been non-existent this season and if they are to win this game, it would have to be with their offense. The Knicks though should be able to match them. This won’t be a high-scoring game but the total of 214.5 is too low here.
Prediction: Over 215
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