The Detroit Pistons will travel to New York to face the Knicks tomorrow at Madison Square Garden in a matchup of teams in completely different places.
The Knicks have started out red hot. While they have lost back-to-back road games in Texas, the Knicks are still 8-3 and looking like one of the best teams in the NBA. They are not only scoring plenty of points (just under 102 points per game), but they are among the top defensive units in the NBA as well.
The narrative behind this Knicks team, aside from Carmelo Anthony’s newfound passing ability, has been the play of their senior citizens. Rasheed Wallace, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni and Kurt Thomas are all 35-years-old or older yet they have all been contributors. Marcus Camby, who has been sidelined with an injury, seems poised to join them.
Coach Mike Woodson has to be commended for the job he has done managing those players. They all have egos and need minutes, yet can’t be overplayed because of their age. If Woodson keeps up the good work the Knicks should be competitive all season.
The Pistons are on the other end of the spectrum. At just 3-10 they are tied for the second worst record in the Eastern Conference ahead of only Washington. They simply haven’t been able to generate offense, scoring a paltry 84.9 points per game.
This comes back to their inability to find a franchise player. No Piston has averaged over 21 points per game since Jerry Stackhouse in 2002, and this year are led by Greg Monroe who is scoring only 17.2 points per game. Tayshaun Prince is in second with only 12.5 points per game. To show you how futile that is, Oklahoma City has four players averaging over 15 points per game.
Betting Preview: Knicks (-12) vs. Pistons
A big part of betting is assessing the emotional position of the two teams involved. The Pistons seem completely deflated after their slow start. I see no reason to believe that they will enter this game with any more urgency than usual.
But the Knicks? They are coming off of an embarrassing loss in Houston. They were angry with the refs, gave up 130 points, and worst of all, lost to the player they controversially let go of this summer (Jeremy Lin). The Knicks are going to enter this game angry. They are going to want to make a statement after their last two losses. Expect the Knicks to blow Houston out from the start here.
The Pick: Knicks (-12) (5dimes.eu)