After a disappointing home loss to the Boston Celtics last night, the Philadelphia 76ers travel to Madison Square Garden to meet the New York Knicks who are masters of tanking this season. These two divisional foes will meet each other for the fourth time this season, and the Sixers have won all previous three encounters. While Phila is tied with Boston at the No. 4 seed, New York sits bottom of the Eastern Conference.
NBA: Wednesday, February 13, 2019, Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, 7:30 PM ET
The 76ers are looking to bounce back at Madison Square Garden
The Philadelphia 76ers (36-21; 27-30 ATS) are coming off a 112-109 defeat to the Boston Celtics last night, recording their third loss over the last five outings. The Sixers had a nervous night on the home court, making 14 turnovers and allowing the Kyrie-less Celtics to heat 13 triples, while Joel Embiid cursed the referees after the game. Philadelphia is now 6-4 straight up and 5-5 ATS in its last ten games overall, while the Sixers are 5-3 straight up and 4-4 ATS in their previous eight outings on the road. They need to bounce back at Madison Square Garden which shouldn’t be a problem considering the Knicks current form.
Joel Embiid is leading the Sixers this season, averaging 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds while making 48.1% of his field goals. Ben Simmons is posting 16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 7.9 assists per contest, while Jimmy Butler is recording 19.0 points and 5.0 rebounds a night. Tobias Harris is tallying 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds since he arrived via trade from the Clippers. The 76ers are scoring 112.7 points per 100 possessions (8th in the league) on 47.4% shooting from the field (6th) and 36.2% from beyond the arc (7th), allowing 109.2 points in a return (13th) on 45.4% shooting from the field (9th) and 34.4% from downtown (7th).
The Knicks keep on buying lottery picks
The New York Knicks (10-46; 23-30-3 ATS) are riding 17-game losing streak following a 107-104 defeat at Cleveland which is a new franchise record, as they are desperate to get the 1st overall pick at the 2019 NBA Draft. After trading away Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. and waiving Enes Kanter, it is obvious what can we expect from the Knicks until the end of the season. They are 6-10-1 ATS during that 17-game span, while the Knicks have dropped 16 consecutive games on the home court, covering the spread only three times in the process along with one push.
Dennis Smith Jr. is the new leader of this hapless New York team, averaging 17.4 points and 6.0 assists per game since he arrived from Dallas. Kevin Knox is tallying 12.6 points and 4.2 rebounds a night, while Deandre Jordan is posting 11.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per contest. The Knicks are scoring 104.7 points per 100 possessions (27th in the league) on 43.0% shooting from the field (30th) and 33.6% from beyond the arc (29th), making just 19.7 assists (30th). On the other side, they are allowing 113.7 points in a return (27th) on 47.1% shooting from the field (25th) and 36.0% from beyond the arc (19th).
- 2-8 SU and 0-10 ATS in the last ten road meetings with the Atlantic Division
- 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings with New York
- Under is 9-3 in the last 12 games overall
New York Knicks:
- 2-8 SU and 6-3-1 ATS in the last ten home meetings with the Atlantic Division
- Under is 8-2 in the last ten games at home
- Under is 13-4 in the last 17 games overall
The Winner Prediction
The Sixers really need to win tonight, so I won’t overthink on this one at all. They should have enough firepower to cover even with a lot of minutes for their bench players, and this is certainly a nice opportunity for the Sixers’ second unit to make some plays. The Knicks lack talent and need another loss, so give me Philadelphia and points.
The Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -9.5 (-110)