HOUSTON ROCKETS (11-12)
at NEW YORK KNICKS (18-5)
Tip-off: Monday, 7:35 p.m. ET
Line: New York -10, Total: 209.5
Linsanity returns to Madison Square Garden on Monday night as Jeremy Lin and the Rockets take on the Knicks who are seeking a fifth straight win.
The last time these two teams played on Nov. 23 in Houston, New York didnít show up. The Rockets got out to an early lead and never looked back, routing the Knicks by a score of 131-103. Houston SF Chandler Parsons scored 31 points that night on 13-of-17 from the field. Nobody on the Knicks was able to disrupt SG James Harden either, as he was able to sink 16-of-16 free throws on his way to a 33-point performance. Knicks star SF Carmelo Anthony (ankle injury) will be a game-time decision, but the thinking is that he will be able to play.
Will the Knicks be able to cover this lofty spread? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are at 52.4% ATS (141-128-10) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Gary is 16-9-1 ATS (64%) since Nov. 26 and 61% ATS (27-17-3) Best Bets for the year. StatFox Scott is at 55% ATS (33-27) Best Bets for the season and StatFox Brian is at 52% ATS (35-33-3) with three straight perfect days. For NBA Totals, Scott is 38-22 (63%) for the season, while Gary is 6-3 (67%) in Totals since Dec. 13, going 2-0 on Sunday.
Houston's two-game win streak ended with Sunday's 103-96 loss in Toronto. New PG Jeremy Lin has been disappointing so far in his Rockets career, averaging just 10.8 PPG (39.5% FG, 31.7% 3-pt FG) and 6.0 APG. Lin scored 38 points (11-of-21 FG) versus San Antonio just one week ago, but has just 22 points (9-of-23 FG) over three games combined since then. His Ast/TO ratio has improved at 2.21 this year, a big jump from 1.71 in New York last season. James Harden, however, has been every bit as good as he was advertised in Oklahoma City, scoring 25.0 PPG (5th-most in NBA). Over the past four games, Harden is averaging 29.8 PPG on 46% FG. In that stretch, he has made 45-of-48 free throws (94%). PF Greg Smith has been very good for the Rockets off the bench as of late, averaging 14.0 PPG and 6.5 RPG in 21 MPG in his past two games. Second-year PF Marcus Morris (8.1 PPG) is coming off a career-high 19 points (6-of-11 FG) in the loss to the Raptors.
The Knicks have won nine of 10 games (5-5 ATS), and four in a row. They beat the Cavaliers 103-102 on Saturday night without Anthony, as practically everybody stepped up. PG Raymond Felton led the way with 25 points, seven assists and just one turnover. He was getting into the lane and finishing at the rack or throwing lobs to C Tyson Chandler, who scored 23 points (9-of-10 FG) and grabbed 10 rebounds in the win. Chandler continues to lead the league in shooting with an astounding 72.1% FG. SF Steve Novak has been a huge help for the Knicks the past couple of games, averaging 12.5 PPG on 8-of-12 shooting from three-point range. PF Rasheed Wallace (7.2 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 14.6 MPG) will not play in this game due to a sore left foot.