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NBA expert Jonathan Macri is here with his prediction and picks for the Sunday night matchup between the New York Knicks and Orlando Magic and Kings vs. Warriors.
ANALYSIS

NBA Predictions and Best Bets: New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic and More

When: Sunday, October 24, 7:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: MSG or NBA League Pass

Spread: Knicks -12

Total: 220.5

Click Here For Knicks vs. Magic Odds

New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic Prediction

After keeping Friday night’s game against these same Knicks close for half a quarter, the Orlando Magic watched New York go on a rampage, finishing the first on a 16-0 run and gaining a 30-point margin well before halftime.

It was not a fair fight. The Magic – already missing four of their best players with Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, and Chuma Okeke all outfaced a Tom Thibodeau defense with two starting guards that have 51 games of NBA experience between them. The results spoke for themselves, with Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs combining to go 7-of-31 from the field. The most resistance shown all night by Orlando was a Wendell Carter Jr flagrant foul on Julius Randle with under five minutes to go in the game.

As for the Knicks, it appears that Derrick Rose’s preseason proclamation that they’d aim to shoot upwards of 40 threes per game was not an exaggeration. Through two contests, the Knicks have taken more 3-pointers per game than any team in the NBA. In addition, they demolished their previous franchise record for threes made and attempted in a game. Orlando’s young defense looked woefully ill-equipped to guard the actions of a Knicks team flush with triple-threat rotation players.

Perhaps none have provided more excitement through two games than Obi Toppin. New York’s second-year big man is averaging 13.5 points on 64.7 percent shooting and has quickly become a crowd favorite. The home crowd at MSG will be ready to go on Sunday night, reveling in every opportunity to cheer on a team that has captured the city’s attention unlike any since the ’90s.

The Magic will no doubt come out with more pride after Friday’s shellacking, but the talent disparity is too stark, and Tom Thibodeau will not stand for a letdown. This spread can’t be high enough.

Knicks vs. Magic Pick

Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction

When: 9:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

Kings vs. Warriors Odds

On paper, at least, the Warriors and Kings have not started the season all that differently. Golden State is 2-0 with the 15th ranked net rating in the league, while the Kings are 1-1 with the 19th ranked number.

Sacramento’s loss – a nine-point home defeat to last season’s top-seeded Utah Jazz – was a tie game with under five minutes remaining. They had an 18-point fourth-quarter lead in the prior game, on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers, before a furious comeback tightened things up late. Two quality opponents, two respectable performances.

The same could be said about the Warriors, except instead of faltering late, Golden State overcame fourth quarter deficits in both games and went on to win each. The question now is whether the Kings are actually on par with the last two Warrior opponents or whether a step down in class will result in an easier path to victory.

The answer likely lies with Steph. The two-time MVP has won an astounding 21 of his last 22 games against the Kings, so if nothing else, bet the money line in this game. On the flip side, four of the last five games between these teams have been Warrior wins by five points or less.

The Kings seem to be emboldened by their small lineup thus far, experimenting with three-guard alignments a fair bit of their first two games. The only problem with trying to engage the Warriors in small-ball, speed-fest is that they re-invented the concept. However, they also have the ability to bear down on defense when it matters – something the Kings haven’t been able to do in a long, long time, and certainly not in their first two games.

Sacramento is being given a bit more respect here than it should. So take advantage before Golden State converts the remaining non-believers around the league.

Kings vs. Warriors Pick

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insightpicks

Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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