The New York Knicks will host the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. These two teams are having opposite seasons as the Blazers come in at 11-5 and the Knicks enter Tuesday’s matchup 4-13.
The Blazers are hot, going 7-3 in their last 10 games and are a respectable 4-3 on the road this season. In their last game, Portland beat the Wizards 119-109 in Washington. Damian Lillard dropped 40 points in the game on 12 of 29 shooting. His partner in crime C.J. McCollum chipped in 25 points of his own. The big man Jusuf Nurkic tallied his 10th double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
The Knicks, on the other hand, are going through their worst stretch of the season. They are on a 5-game losing streak and have lost 10 of their last 13 games. At home, they are a disappointing 2-5 on the young season. They are still without Kristaps Porzingis, the face of the franchise, and will be without him for a while still. In their last game, the Knicks lost on the road in Orlando 131-117. Tim Hardaway Jr. poured in 32 points. Trey Burke surprisingly chipped in 31 points off the bench.
Portland has depended on strong guard play so far this season and will likely rely on Lillard and McCollum for years to come. Lillard is averaging 26.6 points per game and McCollum is averaging 20.8 PPG. The Blazers offense should have a field day against this Knicks team who ranks 29th in the league in defense. Lillard and McCollum should both be able to score at will with Nurkic chipping in inside. The Blazers are 1st in the league in rebounds with over 50 per game. They should be able to dominate the glass against a much smaller Knicks team.
New York’s best player this season has been Tim Hardaway Jr. He is averaging 23.9 points per game. Their second leading scorer is Enes Kanter, who is averaging just 15.5 points per game. After that, there is not much scoring for this Knicks team. The Knicks could struggle for points against a Portland defense that ranks 8th in the NBA. If the Knicks fall behind early, this could get out of hand in a hurry.
The Trail Blazers enter the game at -7.5. Portland is 11-5 against the spread on the season and the Knicks are 7-9-1 ATS. Lillard and McCollum will do their thing all night long. Nurkic will have a tough battle down low against Kanter, but Nurkic should be able to win that battle. Portland will outrebound the Knicks and all signs point to a lopsided victory for the Portland Trail Blazers. Take Portland minus the points.
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