The Knicks aren’t going to be very good this season, and they know that. Any chance they had of being a fringe playoff team went out the window early in February when star big man Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL. He’s not close to returning and there’s a chance the Knicks don’t even let him all season as they will play it cautious with their franchise player.
Some believe the Knicks could return to contention as early as next season, though, with Porzingis back, another good lottery draft pick to add to a nice group of young players, and if … IF … Warriors superstar Kevin Durant decides to take his talents to Gotham. That is not out of the question if you believe the rumours.
NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis
Toronto was 3-1 vs. New York last year and 2-0 at home – the Raptors have won five straight at Scotiabank Arena in the series. Porzingis played in two of the games and averaged 17.5 points and 8.0 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks in averaging 21.3 points in the four games; he’s the team’s leading scorer this season. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors in averaging 17.5 points and 6.3 assists per game vs. the Knicks. DeMar DeRozan put up just 14.3 ppg.
The home team has covered seven of the past nine in the series overall.
New York Knicks
New York ended a two-game losing streak on Wednesday by winning at Atlanta, another rebuilding team, 112-107. After missing Monday’s game with some back soreness, Hardaway Jr. had a game-high 34 points vs. the Hawks. Enes Kanter had 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench – he has been one of the most effective reserves in the NBA.
Rookie Kevin Knox, who was so good in Summer League, missed all six shots and was scoreless in nine minutes. The No. 9 overall pick has found things quite a bit tougher when the games count. The Knicks allow more points (109.9) than they score (107.3), which, yep, usually leads to a losing record. Guard Emmanuel Mudiay is questionable for Saturday with an ankle injury.
The Raptors could have been caught in a bit of a trap game Wednesday in Sacramento to conclude a four-game trip out west, but Toronto finished it 4-0 with a 114-105 victory. Kawhi Leonard returned after missing two games to an ankle injury and had 25 points and 11 rebounds. Is there any player in the league more improved this season than Pascal Siakam? He added 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting.
Jonas Valanciunas had an 11-point, 10-rebounds double-double off the bench. C.J. Miles sat out with right hip bursitis. The Raptors have yet to score fewer than 107 points this year. The team’s depth has taken a bit of a hit, though, as swingman Norman Powell will miss 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury.