A pair of Atlantic Division rivals take the floor in the City of Brotherly Love. The slumping New York Knicks are on the road as they visit the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night. New York was on the road Sunday afternoon as they visited the Pacers in another Eastern Conference tilt. Philadelphia won their third straight by defeating the Clippers 112-98 at home Saturday night. The 76ers have a 245-201 advantage in the all-time regular season series, including a 105-98 road win in the first meeting this season on Christmas Day.
New York Knicks Looking to the Future
New York was in action Sunday on the road against Indiana finishing off what has been a week that officially sealed their season for being dismal. The Knicks went into Sunday losers of five straight: they lost Kristaps Porzingis for the year earlier this week with a torn ACL on a dunk against Milwaukee. New York was just 2-8 in their last 10 games after getting walloped by the Raptors Thursday. The Knicks are 11th in the Eastern Conference, 16.5 games behind Boston for the top spot in the conference and the Atlantic Division races. New York trailed Philadelphia by 6.5 games for the final playoff spot in the East. The Knicks are 7-22 on the road, 6-5 against the Atlantic Division and 11-21 against Eastern Conference foes this season.
The Knicks are 21st in the league in scoring as they average 103.5 points per game. New York is 9th in the league in rebounding with 44.4 boards per contest while standing 12th with 22.9 assists per game. The Knicks are 14th in scoring defense as they allow 105.6 points per game. Kristaps Porzingis averages 22.7 points, 6.6 boards and 2.4 blocks a night to lead the team. He’s now finished for the year after his ACL tear against Milwaukee February 6. Enes Kanter chips in 14.1 points plus 10.6 rebounds per night, Tim Hardaway Jr. adds 16.4 points a contest while Kyle O’Quinn chips in 6.6 points plus 5.6 rebounds per contest. Hardaway Jr. returned on January 12 after missing 20 games with a stress fracture in his leg. Courtney Lee (13.1 points), Emmanuel Mudiay, Ron Baker, Michael Beasley (12.6 points, 5.2 rebounds), Jarrett Jack and rookie Frank Ntilikina have to contribute for the Knicks to have any success. Baker is out after having arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder. Trey Burke, who was having a big season in the G League, and Luke Kornet will get a chance to showcase their ability down the stretch. The Knicks are tied for 10th in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.4 percent as a team. New York is 30th with 7.8 threes per game while ranking 20th in three point shooting as they hit 35.8 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
Philadelphia 76ers Shoot for Fourth Straight Victory
Philadelphia has gotten back on a bit of a roll again as their up and down season continues. Their win over the Clippers gave them three straight victories and established a 1.5 game lead over the Pistons for the final playoff spot entering Sunday. Philadelphia took control early, leading by nine after the opening quarter and by 14 at the half: they saw their lead trimmed to two with six minutes to play but went on an 8-0 run while holding the Clippers scoreless for over four minutes to earn the win. The 76ers shot 47.8 percent from the floor and connected on 13 of 33 three point attempts while forcing 16 Clippers turnovers. Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 29 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in the win.
The 76ers are above average on the offensive end of the floor. The team is 7th in the league in scoring offense with 107.5 points per game. Philadelphia is 1st in rebounding with 46.9 boards a night and 3rd with 25.6 assists per contest. The 76ers are below average on the defensive end, ranking 16th by allowing 105.8 points a game. Jerryd Bayless is putting up 7.9 points per game while Ben Simmons averages 16.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists plus 1.81 steals per contest. Robert Covington adds 12.9 points per night, Joel Embiid contributes a team-leading 23.8 points plus 11.2 rebounds and 1.86 blocks per contest while JJ Redick chips in 17 points a game. Redick missed seven games with a leg injury before returning January 31 against the Nets. T.J. McConnell, Dario Saric (14.4 points, seven rebounds), Trevor Booker, Amir Johnson and #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz are going to be looked at to contribute. Fultz is cleared to begin his final stage of his return to play program: he’s played just four games this season and has been out since October 23 with a shoulder issue. The 76ers are 9th in the league shooting the ball as they hit 46.5 percent from the floor. Philadelphia is 15th in threes per game with 10.5 triples a night and 13th in three point shooting as they hit 36.2 percent from beyond the arc.
- Knicks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- Knicks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Knicks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference
- 76ers are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 home games
- 76ers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- 76ers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
Philadelphia is playing well of late with three straight wins and they need to maintain their momentum with Detroit trying to chase them down for that final playoff spot. The Knicks are in freefall and they’re at the point where evaluating young talent and figuring out who will be a part of next year’s team is the most important. New York has to find offense from somewhere and it will be a task figuring that out. The 76ers are full of youth and talent: they make it four straight wins as they make short work of the Knicks at home.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -11.5
Expect some sluggish play on both sides of the equation in this contest. New York is playing their second game of a back to back here as they’ll fly in from Indiana after Sunday’s contest. Philadelphia, while they’re at home and have been recently, is still playing their third game in four nights after hosting New Orleans Friday and LA Saturday. One positive for the 76ers is that they are reportedly adding a proven veteran piece to their rotation in the next couple days as Marco Belinelli has committed to signing with the team after he clears waivers. Belinelli was waived by Atlanta Saturday after the team couldn’t find a satisfactory deal at the deadline. The 76ers can use another veteran presence that has experienced the postseason to help steady their young talent.
The under is 7-0 in the Knicks’ last 7 overall, 4-0 in their last four on the road, 6-0 in their last six against Eastern Conference foes and 5-1 in their last six against Atlantic Division opponents. Philadelphia has seen the under go 4-1 in their last five overall, 4-1 in their last five against teams with a losing record, 4-1 in their last five at home against teams with a road winning percentage under .400 and 4-1 in their last five at home. The teams have gone under the total in 12 of the last 15 meetings in Philadelphia and in four of their last five overall: with fatigue kicking in for both teams, this one likely falls under the mark as well.