#701 New York Knicksvs.#702 Philadelphia 76ers
Wednesday, January 1 2017, at 7:05pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala
New York Knicks (17-21 SU, 22-16 ATS, 20-18 O/U) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (10-25 SU, 19-16 ATS, 16-18-1 O/U)
NBA: Wednesday, January 11, 2017, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 7 pm ET
Line: New York -2; Over/Under: 209.5
It’s a matchup of Atlantic Division foes in the City of Brotherly Love. The New York Knicks try to get untracked as they travel to face the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night. New York lost their second straight and eighth in the last nine after falling 110-96 at home to the Pelicans Monday night. Philadelphia won for the third time in four games by downing the Nets 105-95 on the road Sunday afternoon. The 76ers hold a 242-199 advantage in the all-time regular season series but the Knicks have taken five straight and nine of the last 10 meetings. That includes a 109-102 win here in the most recent matchup on April 8, 2016.
Eight losses in their last nine games have turned the Knicks from a team three games above .500 to one four games under that mark entering this contest. New York was still within striking distance at the half, trailing by nine, but had the doors blown off in the third quarter. The Knicks were outscored 31-15 by the Pelicans to trail by 25 entering the final stanza. As has been the norm lately, New York made some inroads during garbage time but the game was already well out of reach. The Knicks shot 42.4 percent from the field and knocked down 11 of 29 three point attempts. Brandon Jennings had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists to lead the Knicks in the loss.
The Knicks are 13th in the league in scoring as they average 105.5 points per game. New York is 3rd in the league in rebounding with 45.7 boards per contest while standing 19th with 21.7 assists per game. The Knicks are 25th in scoring defense as they allow 108.9 points per game. Carmelo Anthony puts up 21.9 points plus 6.1 boards per game for the Knicks. Kristaps Porzingis averages 19.8 points and 7.6 boards a night while Derrick Rose is kicking in 17.3 points plus 4.5 assists a game. Courtney Lee (10 ppg), Justin Holiday, Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings and Lance Thomas all will be looked at to contribute going forward. The Knicks are 21st in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.4 percent as a team. New York is tied for 13th with 9.3 threes per game while ranking 10th in three point shooting as they hit 36.6 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
Philadelphia put some breathing room between itself and the league’s worst team, the Nets, by beating Brooklyn on the road Sunday. The 76ers picked up their 10th win of the season in the process: the team won only 10 games all of last season. Philadelphia trailed by 11 at the half but outscored the Nets 32-16 in the third quarter to take the lead. The 76ers built on their edge in the final stanza to pick up the road victory. Philadelphia overcame 39.4 percent shooting from the field and went 8 of 27 from beyond the arc in the game. The 76ers forced 22 Brooklyn turnovers in the contest. Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 20 points in the victory.
The 76ers are miserable on the offensive end of the floor. The team is 26th in the league in scoring offense with 99.2 points per game. Philadelphia is 20th in rebounding with 43.1 boards a night and 12th with 22.5 assists per contest. The 76ers are below average on the defensive end, ranking 21st by allowing 105.9 points a game. Joel Embiid leads the 76ers in scoring with 19.4 points plus 7.3 rebounds a game. Ersan Ilyasova contributes 15.1 points and 6.4 rebounds since coming over in a deal from the Thunder. Jahlil Okafor (10.7 points, 4.8 rebounds) and Dario Saric are a couple of the other guys the 76ers are trying to rely on offensively. Gerald Henderson, Nik Stauskas, Robert Covington (10.3 points, 5.8 rebounds) and Sergei Rodriguez all are key pieces in the rotation. Philadelphia hopes to have #1 overall pick Ben Simmons back in the near future as he has managed to practice in the last couple of weeks. The 76ers are tied for 27th in the league shooting the ball as they hit 43.4 percent from the floor. Philadelphia is tied for 6th in threes per game with 10.5 triples a night and tied for 18th in three point shooting as they hit 35.2 percent from beyond the arc.
The Knicks are stumbling and one has to worry about their chances of getting things untracked before they fall too far down the standings. Philadelphia has won three of four and has as many wins this season as they did all of last year with 47 games to play. The 76ers are playing better basketball of late and are coming off a divisional win. The Knicks have to prove they can get untracked before one can realistically put faith in them again. Take the 76ers at home in this contest.
The Knicks are in a situation where they can ill afford any more losses. They also can ill afford issues like the one surrounding Rose, who wasn’t with the team Monday night and didn’t communicate the reason for his absence to the team. New York is in the situation that Philadelphia normally is, with a lengthy stretch of poor play dropping them like a brick down the standings. Philadelphia, meanwhile, has been sharp of late and climbed out of the cellar in the Atlantic.
New York has seen the under come up in eight of their last 10 after an ATS loss. In addition, the under is 5-2 in the Knicks’ last seven after a double digit home loss and 5-2 in their last seven on Wednesday. Philadelphia has gone under in each of their last seven after scoring at least 100 points. The under is 6-0-1 in the 76ers’ last seven at home against teams with a losing road record, 3-0-1 in their last four at home and 4-0-1 in their last five at home against teams with a road winning percentage below .400 on the year. In the last 13 meetings between the teams here, 10 have come under the total. That’s a pretty strong case when you put it all together.
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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.