Game Preview: Sixers head to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks
The Philadelphia 76ers will head to Madison Square Garden tonight to take on the New York Knicks. They are coming off a relatively easy win in Oklahoma City against the Thunder, a game in which Seth Curry and Joel Embiid combined for 50 points. The Knicks are coming off a 110-104 loss to the Orlando Magic and sit at 2-1 in the early goings of the season. The Sixers are also 2-1 and honestly, should be undefeated if it wasn’t for a late fourth quarter collapse against the Brooklyn Nets in their home opener last Friday night.
The 76ers have played two out of three games on the road this season and will look to move to 3-0 on the road in the early goings of 2021. It would also be the Sixers’ 16th straight win against the New York Knicks. Before we dive in, make your Pickup selection and verify that pick. Easy way to win some free stuff from their marketplace at zero cost to you.
Ben Simmons, who will not be playing, is 14-0 against the New York Knicks in his career. Simmons averaged just over 34 minutes per game against the Knicks in his career with great numbers, averaging 15 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and one steal per game. Obviously I hope that the 76ers run the Knicks out of the Garden tonight, but I think we could all admit that if they do lose this game, it would be pretty funny since that has never happened without Simmons.
Last season, the Knicks finished 41-30 overall and 25-17 in the Eastern Conference. As we all know the 76ers finished last year 49-23 overall and 31-11 in the Eastern Conference. Both teams were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs.
The only player currently on the injury report for the Knicks is Nerlens Noel, who is day to day with a knee injury. As for the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons is out (personal reasons), Shake Milton is out (ankle), and Grant Riller (left knee) is out. Andre Drummond is day to day, and much like he will be for the majority of this season, Joel Embiid is day to day with a knee injury that he suffered in New Orleans in the Sixers first game of this season.
Here’s the odds for tonight’s game, which I’m sure will change based on Embiid and Drummonds availability before game time.
|Philadelphia 76ers||+1.5 (-110)||+100||O 217.5 (-110)|
|New York Knicks||-1.5 (-110)||-118||U 217.5 (-110)|
Tonight, it seems like people are really on the Knicks. As of this morning, 52% of the bets placed against the spread are on the Knicks -1; the moneyline splits show 81% of the moneyline bets are on the Knicks at -118 odds; 52% of the public bets are on the Over (218.5). The Sixers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on the road while the Knicks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs a team with a winning record, and 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games. Tonight should be a good one.
Seth Curry has been red hot to start the season. After only 10 points in season opener, Curry erupted in the last two with 23 and 28 respectively. Over the past week, the real Splash Brother combined to shoot nearly 77% (13/17) from three, and 69% (22/32) overall from the field. As the most dependable floor spacer on the team, Curry has become the second option offensively and has not disappointed in that role thus far. Curry’s increased offensive efforts have been a product of his historical catch and shoot ability, but also his play on the ball and creating his own shots.
If Embiid can’t go tonight (I think he will), Tobias Harris will have to slide in to the number two option for the Sixers. As usual, Harris has been quietly reliable for the 76ers so far this season and scored 14 points, nine rebounds, and five assists game against Oklahoma City.
The Sixers will need to find a way to slow down Julius Randle. Last game, Randle scored 30 points and brought in 16 rebounds, three assists, and four blocks for the Knicks. The Knicks second leading scorer was Derrick Rose, who finished with 23 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
Obviously, Joel Embiid’s status for tonight’s game will weigh heavily on if the Sixers can pull out a win in the Garden tonight. Let’s just assume he is playing. The Knicks aren’t the best defensive team this season, letting up 113.3 points per game in their first three games. The 76ers have been shooting the ball lights out and play much better basketball on the defensive end. The Knicks continue to battle turnover issues have cough it up nearly 14 times per game.
As if I ever had a choice, I’m going against the public and taking the Philadelphia 76ers +1.5 and the over at 217.5.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY