New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls (-11, 193.5 o/u)
It would be an insult to mediocrity to describe the New York Knicks (5-22, 2-11 away) as “mediocre” this season. Off to its worst start ever, the Carmelo Anthony-led squad has played the first quarter of the season like a deer in the headlights, watching as the rest of the NBA has run over the team, both home and away.
Making matters even worse, the Knicks will be without the injured J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert when they travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bulls (15-9, 4-5 home), a team that Anthony considered joining last summer.
“I will not allow myself to sway toward the ‘what if I would have gone to this situation or that situation,'” Anthony said. “This is not the situation that I expected or that we expected, but there’s nothing we can do about it as far as what has happened already. We have to focus on tomorrow.”
The offense is anemic and at times seemingly invisible for New York. Currently on a six-game losing streak, the Knicks are scoring just over 91 PPG over their last 11 games. On the road, New York is allowing 103.8 PPG while the Bulls average 105.6 PPG at home.
As for Chicago, Joakim Noah should be back after missing four games. The return of last year’s Defensive Player of the Year will help a defense that seems to have already found its stride, holding Miami and Atlanta to only 84 points, on average, in the last two.
However, the latter contest ended in a road loss (93-86) to the Hawks. Jimmy Butler poured in 22 points and Taj Gibson had 15 for the Bulls, but Derrick Rose was held to 14.
“I just didn’t have any lift to [my shots],” Rose said. “I guarantee you next game that won’t happen.”
Rose might be right, but 11 points is too high, even against the Knicks. That means New York and the points (+11) is the play.
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