It’s the classic matchup of offense vs. defense in the January 21st Knicks at Warriors pick. New York makes a trip to the West Coast, but they have allowed just 79.5 ppg on a current two game win streak. Golden State likes to launch, and they’ve come back from 14 down in the 4th quarter to beat the Lakers while also stomping the Spurs 121-99 the last two games.
Both teams seem like they’re getting in a groove albeit with very different stylistic approaches. New York will try to slow things down and hence the 214.5 betting total. The Warriors are -4.5 favorites at home, where they are just 5-3 on the season. The Knicks are 4-4 on the road.
Knicks Defense Looking Impressive
For what it’s worth, New York has bought into Tom Thibodeau’s defensive mindset. The Knicks rank 6th in the NBA in defensive efficiency, but have shown the capabilities to absolutely shut teams down on any given night. That includes a 105-75 win in Boston as +7 point underdogs and a 91-84 victory over the Magic as +2.5 home ‘dogs the last two games.
Golden State would seem like a different animal offensively – on paper at least. The Warriors are still just 23rd in offensive efficiency however. Where GSW gets you is by pushing the pace, as they rank 3rd in the NBA in possessions per game, while New York runs the slowest tempo. Which style wins out in the January 21st Knicks at Warriors pick?
It would look like the Knicks don’t have the firepower to keep up with the Warriors in this matchup. New York does rank dead last in scoring at 100.6 ppg, but Julius Randle can have big games with 20+ points in four straight and 29 rebounds the last two games. RJ Barrett also has 20+ points in three of the last four.
Golden State Starting to Click?
The Warriors are just 8-6 on the season, but they’ can still beat any team on a given night. That was evidenced when they outscored the Lakers 34-21 in the fourth quarter on Monday night to complete a 115-113 comeback victory. Golden State dished out 31 assists in that game, and repeated that feat Wednesday night vs. the Spurs.
Speaking of the win over San Antonio, the Warriors will be on the back-to-back in the January 21st Knicks at Warriors pick. Steph Curry and Kelly Oubre, Jr. both logged 30+ minutes vs. the Spurs as did Andrew Wiggins playing through a slight knee injury. The last time the Warriors played a back-to-back they beat the Kings by 31 points however.
James Wiseman did have his best game as a pro on Wednesday night with a 20/6/4 line. Wiseman and Draymond Green played just 25 minutes as well, and the Warriors should be relatively fresh thanks to the blowout win over San Antonio.
Free January 21st Knicks at Warriors Pick
226 is the lowest betting total in a Golden State game this year. 214.5 is significantly lower which gives an inkling to the Knicks’ pace winning out in this one. Getting +4.5 points in a slow paced game looks good enough, but especially when the Warriors are on the back-to-back. New York gets some legitimacy in this game powered by the inside-out combination of Randle and Barrett.
Knicks 108 – Warriors 104
Free Pick: New York +4.5