Wednesday's NBA Picks: New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers Prediction and More
Wednesday's NBA Picks
Charlotte Hornets vs Golden State Warriors Prediction
Few players in NBA history have had the level of success against one franchise that Steph Curry has had against the team his father once played for.
Since entering the league, when he plays against Dell Curry’s Charlotte Hornets, Curry has shot 51.3 percent overall and 49.1 percent from deep. Both of those numbers are higher than against any other franchise, and the Hornets are also one of only four teams he has averaged north of 27 points against for his career.
The scary thing is that Curry may be playing his best basketball since his back to back MVP campaigns. In addition to leading the league in scoring and made 3-pointers, he’s also averaging a career high 7.5 boards per game to go with 6.5 assists. Those numbers, plus Golden State’s 5-1 record, have made him the front runner for his third MVP award.
The Charlotte team entering this game is arguably the best one Steph has ever faced in his career though. They are 5-3 with the eighth-best net rating in the league at positive 3.0, and that has come despite Terry Rozier only playing two games. Their success has been largely due to the emergence of Miles Bridges, who along with Tyler Herro is the early co-favorite for Most Improved Player.
Looking a little deeper though, there is reason for skepticism. Aside from an early game in Brooklyn that the Nets sleepwalked through, the Hornets have yet to give up fewer than 111 points in a game this season. They’re now facing a Warriors team that we know can put up points, but that also limits opponents to the sixth-lowest 3-point conversion rate in the league. For a Hornets squad that has feasted on the deep ball (2nd in accuracy only to the red hot New York Knicks), that’s an area of concern.
After the Heat and Jazz, no team has impressed more in the early going than Golden State. They’re giving up only 94.9 points per 100 possessions at home, and the smart money says they’ll be able to limit Charlotte’s attack enough to cover a reasonable spread.
Charlotte Hornets vs Golden State Warriors Prediction: Warriors -6
New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers Prediction
A 5-2 team getting points from a 2-6 team? You read that correctly.
And yet, it doesn’t seem unreasonable. Why’s that? As the saying goes, once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, and three times is a pattern.
Through the early going this season, New York has now played seven games, five of which have seen them blow double digit leads only to escape by the skin of their teeth or wind up losing (a sixth game, against Philly, wound up as a 13-point win after they were up by 27). The early trend is clear: New York doesn’t do well with prosperity.
It is interesting to note, however, that three of their four dropped covers – home to Orlando, at New Orleans and home to Toronto – have come when they’ve been heavy favorites, whereas they’ve covered every game they’ve played with a close spread.
This matchup against the Pacers falls in the second category. Indiana has a better net rating than their record would indicate, and they are (mostly) heathy, only missing T.J. Warren, who has been out since early last season. This team has already beat Miami and has been in several other close games. They are well coached and know who they are on both ends.
New York will have to be on its game to come away with a victory. They have done that for stretches of every single game, but also haven’t done it for the entirety of any game, save for one victory in Orlando against a Magic team that didn’t come to play.
Here is the deciding factor: Thibodeau teams rarely fail to bring their A-game in the effort department two nights in a row, and the Knicks are coming off a loss in which they were badly out-hustled by the Raptors at home. The last time they pulled such an act (at home vs Orlando) they responded with their best effort of the season against Philadelphia. They will come to play in this one as well, and they are the more talented team, especially with RJ Barrett rampaging of late to the tune of 82 points in his last three games.
They can win close, as long as they win. They will…even if it may not be pretty.
New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers Prediction: Knicks +1.5
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.