NBA Thursday February 25th Kings at Knicks Preview
Toss Up Game at MSG?
Oddsmakers are calling the February 25th Kings at Knicks matchup a close one, making New York just a -1.5 favorite at home. The early lean would go towards NYK, playing at home not to mention Sacramento is on the East Coast and has LOST 8 STRAIGHT GAMES.
Is that line too easy though? The Knicks did lose 114-106 to another West Coast team Golden State on Tuesday, and is a mere 8-7 at Madison Square Garden this season. The Kings are just 5-8 on the road though. Does this matchup merely come down to who is “less bad?”
Any Faith in the Kings?
It takes some stones to back Sacramento in the February 25th Kings at Knicks matchup. The losing streak has crept up on Luke Walton’s team, now reaching eight games. That includes three straight on the East Coast, 122-114 at Chicago, 128-115 at Milwaukee, and 127-118 at Brooklyn.
The Knicks have nowhere near the offense as the Nets or Bucks, or even the Bulls for that matter. How do you trust the Sacramento defense right now though? The Kings are dead last in points allowed (119.9), last in opponents field goal percentage (48.9) and second worst in three point defense (40%).
Not to mention, the Knicks defense is pretty good despite their 8-7 record. New York ranks 3rd in the league in defensive efficiency, and have held the Rockets and Timberwolves to under 100 points over the last five games. The Knicks struggle vs. the post (28th), but Richaun Holmes doesn’t scare you and Hassan Whiteside is out (illness).
Oddsmakers Not Liking Knicks
New York has a lot of work to do to change the narrative about them “being the Knicks.” Tom Thibodeau’s squad was a 1-point favorite when they beat the Rockets by 22 a couple Saturday’s ago, were 1.5 underdogs when they beat Atlanta by 11 shortly after that.
Were there some lemons over that span? Oh yes. The Knicks lost 107-in Orlando last Wednesday as -3.5 favorites, barely squeaked out a win over the Timberwolves, and lost to Golden State at the Garden.
Sacramento will want to make Thursday’s tilt a fast paced affair, but the Knicks run the slowest tempo in the league. The Kings rank 24th in the league vs. the PF, which means a huge night upcoming for Julius Randle, especially if Sacramento slows things down. Randle has 25/14/4 and 25/10/7 over his last two. How do the Kings counter that? Tyrese Haliburton has 23+ the last two for Sacramento, but the Knicks rank 5th vs. the PG and 7th vs. the SG.
Free February 25th Kings at Knicks Pick
Get out the d-Con because why would the public not be absolutely hammering the Knicks -1.5 in Thursday’s tilt? The Kings have lost 8 straight and are on the road, meaning there should be no chance for Sacramento here.
A nice contrarian play is on Sacramento, because this one seems red flag easy. New York shuts down the back court, which is the Kings strength. Sacramento also can’t stop anybody either lately though. I’ll fall for it:
Knicks 111 – Kings 108
Free Pick: Knicks -1.5