Washington Wizards (32-24) at New York Knicks (23-35)
I learned an important lesson last night. Stay away from the Houston Rockets! The Rockets hot streak burned me last night when I backed the Minnesota Timberwolves at home. The Timberwolves have been the best home team in the Western Conference all season long, and I saw great value in backing them at home, as underdogs.
Yeah, that didn’t work out. The final box score shows it was more of a blowout than it really was, as this was a four-point game in the fourth quarter, before getting out of hand late. Houston closed out on a crazy run to finish the game and ended up taking it fairly easily, 126-108.
The Rockets dropped a whopping 42 points on Minnesota in the fourth quarter! I’ll tell you what, the way Houston is playing right now has the rest of the NBA taking notice. I know the Eastern Conference is showing some signs of life as the Cavs re-hauled their roster and the Celtics and Raptors have legit squads, but it feels like the winner of the Houston and Golden State series will walk to the NBA title this season.
Today I will look at two teams that aren’t expecting much postseason success, as the New York Knicks host the Washington Wizards.
The Washington Wizards enjoyed a couple of days off and will now travel to the Big Apple to play the Knicks Wednesday night. This game features two teams that are both trying to adjust to playing without their best players. The Wizards have fared much better without John Wall than the Knicks have without Kristaps Porziņģis.
The Wizards are 6-2 without their star point guard and are still clinging on to the five seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. For the Knicks, the season has completely fallen apart as they have lost seven straight games. The Wizards are -4.5-point road favorites tonight. The game total over-under is set at 207.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 PM PST from the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.
The New York Knicks are an absolute mess right now. The season wasn’t going all that well before the lost their best player, Kristaps Porziņģis to a season-ending injury. But now that the charismatic big man is gone, the Knicks are struggling even to stay competitive. The Knicks are forced to look to Michael Beasley to be their leading scorer. The same Michael Beasley that was playing for the Shandong Golden Stars in China not too long ago.
It is a sad state of affairs for the Knicks, and they are quickly falling down the standings and should end up getting a high lottery pick in next year’s draft. And that is probably what is best for New York as they were never winning a playoff series anyway, so why not tank the rest of the way out, get healthy and hope to pick up a Marvin Bagley or Trae Young in the lottery next season. The Knicks hope to save some face and protect their home court tonight as they host the Wizards.
When the Wizards lost John Wall a couple weeks ago, I for one, figured they were done. He was such an integral part of this offense that I didn’t know how they were going to replace his production. But give the Wizards credit, they have for the most part proven me wrong.
Washington is a very respectable 6-2 without their star point guard, and even though I doubt it will hold, they are still in the five slot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. I think the Pacers will pass them and I wouldn’t be shocked in Philly does too, but at this point, this looks like a playoff team, even without Wall.
The team seems to be in good spirits, and they are managing to win games with a full team effort. The Wiz have been particularly good on the road without Wall as they are 4-1 away from home. They will have a soft-landing spot tonight as they play a bad Knicks team at MSG.
The New York Knicks are a joke right now. They have no offensive production to speak of as they have scored under 100 points in six of their last seven games. I never like to think a team is going to get blown out at home, but that is what it feels like is going to happen tonight. I just have zero confidence that this team can put together even a respectable product on the floor tonight.
And when you factor in that the Wizards are playing with that nobody believes in us chip on their shoulder since losing Wall, I expect a great performance out of the Wizards as well. I think Washington dominates early and holds on late for the easy win and cover tonight.
Give me the Washington Wizards -4.5 points on the road.