How to Bet the OKC Thunder vs New York Knicks Game
The Oklahoma City Thunder will continue their sojourn in the snow when they head to Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night to take on the New York Knicks. Tipoff is at 7:30pm Eastern time. The Thunder are coming off a loss at the Barclays Center to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night, while the Knicks are coming off a loss in Charlotte on Saturday. The Thunder had won seven straight before the setback, while the Knicks (22-24) have yet to put on a big streak in either direction this betting season.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 24, 2016
Why should you bet on the Thunder?
It’s true that the Thunder lost to Brooklyn, but having your game delayed due to a blizzard (and having your star, Kevin Durant stuck in a hotel for 36 hours) is a definite distraction. Of course, Brook Lopez was a real problem too. He dropped 31 on the Thunder and snatched 10 rebounds to boot. As Durant said in the postgame press conference, “It was a tough loss but that’s what happens in this league. You come on the road and you’re not locked in from the beginning and you lose the game.”
Durant scored 32 in the game and had 10 boards of his own (along with seven assists), even though the game was delayed for four hours. Russell Westbrook added 27 more points and 11 boards. This was just the fifth loss for Oklahoma City in their last 27 contests. The Thunder also had center Steven Adams out for the game. But this game was all Lopez — whom the Nets almost traded to Oklahoma City last season.
You can expect that the Thunder will have their focus back when they take on the Knicks on Tuesday night. The Knicks are another middling team in the East, and while their record is better than that of the Nets, the Thunder have moved into the elite level of the West with their play in the second quarter of the season, and they won’t lose focus again.
Why should you bet on the Knicks?
Despite their setback against Charlotte on Saturday night, the Knicks have been making a move toward respectability in recent weeks, climbing up to the .500 mark after starting the season well below the break-even point. The struggle for the Knicks has been to string wins together, so that they move above .500 and further into the playoff conversation in the Eastern Conference. As Knicks coach Derek Fisher said in the press conference after the loss in Charlotte, “How do you go beyond a .500 team? How do you get to a point where you can break through? It requires more sacrifice, more discipline, more commitment and more energy. We have to keep plugging until we find a way.”
Kristaps Porzingis has been a real find for the Knicks this season, and with Steven Adams not playing in the middle for the Thunder, Porzingis could go off just like Lopez did on Sunday inside, wreaking havoc and scoring at will. The Thunder will need to find a way to make sure to limit his opportunities. That means that Serge Ibaka will have to up his play inside so that the Knicks can’t simply impose their will in the lane.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I like the Thunder to figure out the middle issues that plagued them against Brooklyn and emerge with the win, 108-94.