#701 New Orleans Pelicansvs.#702 New York Knicks
Written by Chris Kubala
New Orleans Pelicans (14-24 SU, 18-20 ATS, 18-20 O/U) vs. New York Knicks (17-20 SU, 22-15 ATS, 20-17 O/U)
NBA: Monday, January 9, 2017, Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, 7:30 pm ET
Line: New York -4; Over/Under: 215.5
It’s an inter-conference clash of sub-.500 teams meeting up in the Big Apple. The New Orleans Pelicans continue their road swing in the northeast as they take on the New York Knicks Monday night. New Orleans fell 117-108 at Boston for their third straight loss Saturday night. New York lost for the seventh time in eight games as they were knocked off 123-109 at Indiana Saturday. New Orleans holds a slim 16-15 advantage in the all-time regular season series. The Pelicans have won two straight meetings, including a 104-92 home triumph in the first matchup this season on December 30, 2016.
New Orleans gave it a go but didn’t have enough to take down the Celtics on the road, extending their skid to three games. The Pelicans led by three after one quarter and outscored the Celtics 35-24 in the fourth. The problem for New Orleans was that the fourth quarter was essentially garbage time after they were outscored 65-42 in the middle two stanzas to trail by 20. The Pelicans shot 47.1 percent from the floor and went 10 of 31 from three point range. New Orleans was blitzed by Boston’s perimeter shooting as they allowed the Celtics to drain 18 of 36 three point attempts. Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 36 points and 15 rebounds in a losing effort.
The Pelicans are 21st in the league in scoring offense with 102.2 points per game. The Pelicans are 9th in rebounding with 44.6 boards per game while ranking 10th with 22.8 assists per contest. New Orleans is 19th in scoring defense as they give up 105.6 points per contest. Anthony Davis is second in the league in scoring with 28.8 points to go with 12.1 rebounds, 1.39 steals and second with 2.51 blocks per game. The problem is that the support isn’t really there. E’Twaun Moore contributes with 9.8 points a night while Tim Frazier contributes 10.3 points plus 6.9 assists per contest. Rookie Buddy Hield (9.1 points), Terrence Jones (10.3 points, 5.7 boards), Langston Galloway, Dante Cunningham, Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca have to contribute when they are on the floor. The return of Jrue Holiday (14.5 points, 7.1 assists) to the team has helped New Orleans on offense but relegated Hield to more of an afterthought in the rotation. New Orleans is 26th in field goal percentage shooting 43.7 percent from the floor. The Pelicans are 17th with 9.1 made threes per game and stand tied for 19th in the league by converting 35.1 percent from long range this season.
New York is like a punch drunk boxer right now as they’ve been staggered by seven losses in their last eight games. The Knicks were rolled on the road by the Pacers and have to hope they can get untracked at home. New York was down four after one quarter only to see the deficit balloon to 19 at halftime and 26 after three quarters. The Knicks made some headway in garbage time but the contest had long been decided by that point. New York hit 46 percent from the floor and 12 of 31 from three point range. The Knicks allowed the Pacers to shoot 50 percent from the field, 11 of 24 from deep and dominate the glass by a 53-32 margin. Carmelo Anthony and Brandon Jennings each finished with 17 to lead the Knicks.
The Knicks are 12th in the league in scoring as they average 105.7 points per game. New York is 3rd in the league in rebounding with 45.8 boards per contest while standing 18th with 21.9 assists per game. The Knicks are 25th in scoring defense as they allow 108.8 points per game. Carmelo Anthony puts up 22.1 points plus 6.1 boards per game for the Knicks. Kristaps Porzingis averages 20.1 points and 7.7 boards a night while Derrick Rose is kicking in 17.3 points plus 4.5 assists a game. Courtney Lee (10.2 ppg), Justin Holiday, Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings and Lance Thomas all will be looked at to contribute going forward. The Knicks are 20th in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.4 percent as a team. New York is 16th with 9.2 threes per game while ranking 10th in three point shooting as they hit 36.6 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
This one is a matchup of a pair of teams desperate for a victory. The Pelicans have dropped three in a row while the Knicks have lost seven of eight. New York is better at home than they are on the road, as evidenced by their 11-7 home record compared to 6-13 as the visitor. New Orleans is just 4-13 on the road but they’ve played tough most of the time. Davis puts up another big game and the Knicks’ negative momentum puts them in a bad spot. New Orleans gets a win: take the points as a bonus.
Both teams are coming in with losses and are seeing their chances of making the postseason dim with every passing day and defeat. New Orleans has talent but they don’t have a competent sidekick to ride along Davis. The fact that he hasn’t broken down from trying to carry this team is impressive. The Knicks have a trio of talented players in Anthony, Rose and Porzingis but seem to lack much else and their cohesion at times leaves much to be desired.
The under has come up in each of New Orleans’s last four after scoring at least 100 points, in eight of their last nine against the East and in eight of their last nine against Atlantic Division foes. The Knicks have seen the under come up in each of their last six against teams with losing records and in seven of their previous nine against Southwest Division opponents. The under has also come up in each of the last four meetings between these teams and in five of the last six matchup at Madison Square Garden. Those trends seem to point to this one falling under the number as well.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.