BROOKLYN NETS (13-11)
at NEW YORK KNICKS (18-6)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: New York -6, Total: 193.5
The Nets are heading across town to Madison Square Garden where they’ll play their third game with the Knicks in this early season.
Brooklyn has won only two games in its past nine tries (2-7 SU and ATS), with those wins coming against Toronto and Detroit. Meanwhile, the Knicks have won nine of their past 11 games and four of their past five. New York and Brooklyn are both 4-4-1 ATS versus each other over the last three seasons, but the Knicks are 9-2 SU. New York's frontcourt is getting very thin, as star SF Carmelo Anthony (ankle) and PF Rasheed Wallace (foot) are questionable for this game, while C Marcus Camby (foot) is doubtful and PF Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) remains out. The Nets come into this game virtually injury-free.
Will the Knicks be able to win comfortably on Wednesday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are at 51% ATS (144-140-10) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Gary is 56% ATS (27-21-3) Best Bets for the season, while StatFox Scott is at 52.4% ATS (33-30) and StatFox Brian is at 51% ATS (36-35-3) after a 4-2 ATS run over the past five days. For NBA Totals, Scott is 39-23 (63%) for the season, while Gary is 8-5 (62%) in Totals since Dec. 13.
The Nets have struggled ever since C Brook Lopez went down with an injury early on in the season. Lopez is back and playing well now, averaging 17.0 PPG and 7.5 RPG in his past two games. SG Joe Johnson has finally stepped up his play too, as in the past five games, he's shooting 49% FG and averaging 20.8 PPG, which is much better than his season averages of 43% FG and 17.0 PPG. Johnson is looking more and more comfortable playing next to PG Deron Williams, and that is a good sign for Avery Johnson and the rest of the club. Williams has 20.0 PPG and 9.8 APG in 15 career games versus New York. PF Reggie Evans, who has really bothered the Knicks this season with 32 rebounds in the two meetings, is averaging 10.2 RPG over the past five games.
New York lost its last game Monday, falling 109-96 to the Rockets at home. Despite the hot shooting of SF Chris Copeland (29 points on 11-of-19 FG), the Knicks still suffered their first home loss of this season. PG Raymond Felton will need to start shooting the ball better, especially if Anthony is out longer. Felton was 7-of-18 (0-for-4 threes) versus Houston, and is connecting on just 33.9% FG (5-of-19 threes) in his past six games. SG J.R. Smith has scored in double-figures for eight straight games (15.4 PPG), but is shooting just 36.5% FG during this streak. Smith has taken on the role of first option in the games Anthony has missed, and will continue to do so if Anthony misses any more time this season.