It’s unbelievable that the NBA could have 11 games this late in the season and all but one has playoff implications. We start with the most important one of the day featuring the league’s two glamour markets.
Can we finally stop doubting the New York Knicks and believe in what they have going on?
Whatever Thibs put in the water this season, it’s not only working, but it has quite the lasting effect. That’s the only reasonable impression following the Knicks’ 106-100 win against LA’s other team on Sunday in a game that both Clipper stars played in.
It was also the first cover New York had in a few games after their stretch of 15 wins against the spread in 16 tries was rudely interrupted by the Nuggets and Suns. The Knicks had a lot of trouble with the big men in each matchup – Nikola Jokic as the creator and Deandre Ayton as the beneficiary of creation by Phoenix’s guards.
Whether the Lakers have LeBron James or not (he’s targeting Tuesday as his return after an absence of a few games), Anthony Davis will be ready to go, fresh off a 40-piece against the Suns in LA. Between him and Andre Drummond, the Lakers will have more than enough size to make New York’s life difficult.
Then again, the Knicks continue to prove whoever who assumes they can’t punch above their weight class wrong, and given how Los Angeles is just 14-20 against the spread at home this season, that assumption will be incorrect yet again.
The Pick: New York +5.5 @ -110 (Click here to bet)
Sometimes, it’s just not your season.
After Boston’s loss in the first part of this two-game set, the Celtics dropped two games back of Miami in the East. They also finished off a nine-game stretch in which they failed to cover the spread seven times. Finally, adding injury to insult, it was announced on Monday that Jaylen Brown would be lost for the season with a torn ligament in his wrist.
Add it all up, and the Celtics’ hopes of doing anything significant this season are pretty much dashed.
For Miami, they seem to be gaining steam at exactly the right time. They’ve won and covered five of six and nine of 12. They appear to be rounding into form as the team from last season’s bubble that none of the higher seeds want to face, backed up by their top-eight net rating over those dozen games.
This one might get ugly, with the Heat smelling blood and the Celts working on their pre-Cancun chant.
The Pick: Miami -1.5 @ -105 (Click here to bet)
Other NBA Games - Tuesday, May 11
Denver Nuggets at Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets only wins in their last eight games have come against the Pistons and Magic. The Nuggets, meanwhile, are charging for a three-seed and the right to avoid the Mavs in round one. This will not be close.
Los Angeles Clippers at Toronto Raptors
The Clippers need to rebound against a disappointing home game against the Knicks, while the Raptors have lost six of seven. The Clips take care of business here.
Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers
The Sixers can lock up the one seed with a win, while the Pacers are as likely to be counting days until the offseason as they are to put up a spirited effort, as they’ve lost five of seven. Take Philly.
Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls
The Bulls still have an outside shot at the play-in and have played much better ball since Zach LaVine has returned. The Nets, meanwhile, dropped four of five before winning a tight one in Denver. They’ll be neck and neck in this one, the last of a five-game trip. Go with the Bulls.
Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies
The Mavs are still without Kristaps Porzingis, but at this point, it appears they may be better without him. The Grizzlies are just a .500 since the last time they played the Mavs almost a month ago – a game they lost at home. This one will have the same result.
Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks
Only the Thunder have a worse net rating over the last 15 games than the Magic, and the Bucks still have a lot to play for. No spread is high enough here.
Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors
The Warriors aren’t going to catch the Lakers or Blazers but they do still need to try and stay in the eighth spot, and they’ll have to have this one to do so. The Suns have been a hair uneven of late, with alternating wins and losses against the spread over their last eight. Take the more desperate team at home.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Sacramento Kings
The Kings are still (barely) alive and this one against a team that has just one win in its last 15 games should keep them on life support for another 24 hours.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Detroit Pistons
The Wolves aren’t tanking. The Pistons very much are. Minnesota is 8-7 over their last 15 while the Pistons are 4-11. This line should be larger.
Tuesday, May 11 NBA Expert Picks
New York +5.5 @ -110 (Click here to bet)
Miami -1.5 @ -105 (Click here to bet)
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