The struggling New York Knicks (24-30) continue their road trip west, where they take on current Western Conference 2nd Seed Golden State Warriors (41-14), who are coming off their first loss in 10 starts last night against the surging Utah Jazz.
New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors
Chase Center, Thursday 10th February, 10:00pm EST
Only 3 weeks ago, the Knicks seemed to be chugging along nicely at 22-21, having won 3 straight matches, over the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks. Fast forward to now and the Knicks are quickly losing pace with the playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference. This on the back of losing 3 straight and 8 of their previous 10 games.
During this 10-game span, the Knicks have only managed to shoot 0.417 from the field in their losses, whilst allowing their opponent to shoot 0.467 from the field and 0.352 from beyond the arc. During their wins, the Knicks were able to shoot 0.408 from beyond the arc, which seems unsustainable, particularly against a team as adept at defending the 3 as the Warriors, who hold their opponents to the 6th lowest 3P % in the league.
The Warriors meanwhile have been on a tear since sharpshooter Klay Thompson has come back into a heavier role within the rotation. The team struggled to adapt early, alternating wins and losses in Thompson’s first 8 games this season, however since then had won 9 straight, before last night’s loss to the Jazz, where Thompson was rested.
The Knicks were last seen being manhandled by the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night, with the Knicks allowing the Nuggets to shoot 0.541 from the floor and .410 from beyond the arc. There appears to be a rift about to explode, with the Knicks star big man Julius Randle apparently requesting to be traded as he wanted a bigger role within the team. This appears to have led to more touches for Randle, who’s averaged 30 points per game over the past 3, however the Knicks have failed to win any of these matches.
The Warriors, as discussed, were beaten convincingly by the Jazz last night in Salt Lake City, 111-85. After a competitive first quarter, the Jazz took over, out scoring the Warriors 81-54 over the final 3 quarters. The Warriors appeared to be having an off night, only managing to shoot 0.359 from the floor. With Klay Thompson likely back and the starters all getting an early rest last night, I expect this result to be pushed aside rather quickly by the Warriors.
These teams met just under 2 months ago at Madison Square Garden, with the Warriors taking care of business 105-96 behind solid contributions from all their starters. Draymond Green remains sidelined; however, the Warriors have shown they can pick up the slack without Green. The Knicks have a tendency of getting blown out against the elite teams, and I see this happening again here tonight with the Warriors covering the -9 point spread
For the total, I like the under 219, but what I like even more is the Knicks Team Total Under 104.5. The Warriors, despite being known for electric offense, have the number one defensive efficiency rating in the league this season. Added to this, the Knicks offense has generally struggled, and I can’t see them pushing this defensive unit around.