The Knicks impressive season
When the New York Knicks brought in coach Tom Thibodeau to the bench, fans were excited. Here was a gritty New Yorker with a passion for playing hard, defensive, tough basketball. On top of that, some impressive moves in the pre-season left the Knicks with a pretty decent looking line-up. Still, major questions existed over key parts of the team – especially forward Julius Randle. For most, the Knicks major ambition was to make the play-in, meaning finishing anything from 7th to 10th. Instead, the Knicks crashed the party and landed the 4th seed in the NBA playoffs.
Thanks to the incredible night-in, night-out defensive effort the team made, the Knicks looked a lively effort from early on. Add in the immediate rise of young rookie Immanuel Quickley and the impressive return of RJ Barrett, and the Knicks suddenly had a tough, aggressive team to watch. The only downside? The way the season somewhat passed major draft pick Obi Toppin by, though his minutes were naturally stunted thanks to the way Randle was playing.
Instead, they could have had someone like Tyrese Haliburton running the backcourt. Rather than worry, though, the Knicks moved to acquire some proper talent in the form of ex-MVP Derrick Rose. The veteran Point Guard has been incredible especially in the run-in and in the first two games of the playoffs. When it comes to tonight’s game, we’re a bit worried though about the minutes he’s already logged.
Can the NY Knicks make a legitimate playoff push?
If you have promised Knicks fans winning basketball and a play-in spot, they would have taken it with both hands. Instead, they hit the 40-win mark and were one of two teams in the NBA to win nine games-plus straight – the other team? Western first seed Utah Jazz. That’s some pretty solid company.
With the likes of the aforementioned Rose, Barrett, and Quickley pairing up with Randle, the resurgence of the likes of Nerlens Noel has been very impressive indeed. The secret to their success is a classic Tom Thibodeau mixture of hard work, giving 100% every night, and being willing to crash the boards and feel some pain. Truly, it has been a while since the Knicks had a team that both fans could fall in love with, and neutrals could enjoy watching and bet on.
Physical play in a rapid season with little downtime, for a roster that is sorely lacking in NBA experience, was a huge bonus. However, we have to say one thing – the Knicks aren’t exactly sitting easy after these first couple of games vs Atlanta.
Julius Randle struggling
I like Julius Randle and I’ve been following him since his year at Kentucky before being picked 7th vs the Lakers. From interviews in the last year, it sounds like the experience of playing with Kobe has rubbed off on him and he’s without a doubt one of the hardest workers in the league. Deservedly so, he won the Most Improved Player award just a few days ago.
That being said, it appears from the first two games that he’s just not a #1 playoff option, his shooting percentage has been way down since being the focus of the Atlanta defence. There’s no shame in that, all good players need someone else to also be offensive threats along side them.
Unless the Knicks come up with an impressive change, it looks like they might struggle in the next games vs Atlanta where they’ll be on the road. Which brings us to tonight's games, both of our picks are offered at all our recommended sportsbooks, so feel free to grab a great welcome offer and potentially an ongoing NBA promotion offer for some extra value.
NBA Playoffs Pick: New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks -185
New York Knicks +155
Atlanta Hawks -4.5
New York Knicks: +4.5
211 total points
Our pick for tonight is Atlanta on the Moneyline at -185.
Can Luka and Porzingis do it again?
The Dallas Mavericks have shot 50% both on all FG’s and 3pointers, it’ll take a special performance to keep that going and as good as Luka Doncic is, we think they’re bound to regress a bit on the offensive end.
On the other end, it’s just amazingly hard to imagine a team as talented as the Clippers going down 0-3 in the first round of a playoff series, even if Dallas has looked good in the first two games at Staples Center.
NBA Playoffs Pick: LA Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks +120
Los Angeles Clippers -145
Dallas Mavericks +2.5
Los Angeles Clippers -2.5
211 total points
Look for the Clippers to claw their way back into the series, our pick for this game is Clippers on the Moneyline at -140.
Sports Betting Guide Picks for the NBA playoffs:
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