NEW YORK KNICKS (20-7)
at LOS ANGELES LAKERS (13-14)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 3:00 p.m. ET
Line: Los Angeles -3, Total: 212.5
The Knicks will get their second chance to beat their former coach, Mike D’Antoni, when they face the Lakers at Staples Center on Christmas Day.
New York is 7-3 in its past 10 games, while the Lakers are on a four-game winning streak. The last time these two teams played, the Knicks won 116-107 in a game that wasn’t close from the opening tip.
Can the Knicks win in Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts have sizzled since Saturday with a collective 9-2 ATS mark. The experts are 63% ATS (19-11) since Dec. 19 and are 52% ATS (163-151-10) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Gary is 55.4% ATS (31-25-3) Best Bets for the year, while StatFox Scott is at 54.4% ATS (37-31) Best Bets for the season and StatFox Brian is at 51.3% ATS (40-38-3) after going 8-5 ATS (62%) since Dec. 14. For NBA Totals, Scott is 42-25 (63%) for the season.
The Knicks have won seven of their past 10 games, but have lost two of their past five contests. Some of New York's shooters have been struggling lately, but SF Carmelo Anthony has picked up the slack. The early season MVP candidate is averaging 31.0 PPG on 44.4% shooting from the field in the three games he’s played since spraining his ankle. Anthony is averaging 1.0 BPG and 2.0 SPG as well in those three games. SG J.R Smith has also been playing some of his best basketball of the season, averaging 19.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 3.2 APG over the past five games. He has been a huge spark off the bench for the Knicks and has really made up for the poor shooting of his teammates. PG Jason Kidd must find his shot again as he is just 4-of-16 from three-point land in his past three games.
The Lakers have won four straight games and recently got PG Steve Nash and PF Pau Gasol back from injury. Mike D’Antoni and SG Kobe Bryant were raving about Nash after the Lakers’ 118-115 victory over the Golden State Warriors. Kobe Bryant has been stellar this season and over the past five games has averaged 31.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 6.2 APG. Despite his 16-of-41 shooting performance from the field against the Warriors and his 9-for-29 FG against the Wizards, Kobe is still connecting on 42% FG over the past five games. Bryant is as tough of a cover as there is in this league and although this team has struggled, Kobe has competed and produced in nearly every game.