The Knicks were wagering quicksand for NBA handicappers in the month of February and that trend continued over the weekend with a home loss to the Miami Heat. Now, the Eastern Conference’s No. 3 seed faces a busy week with five games in the next seven days that will entail making multiple road trips.
New York was 0-7-1 against the spread in its last eight games before finally covering the number last Friday in a 96-88 win on the road against the Washington Wizards. Facing the Easter Conference-leading Heat on Sunday, the Knick surged to a 14-point lead at the half, but were ultimately undone by the continued exploits of Lebron James, who scored 29 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists in the 99-93 win.
The loss snapped a three-game straight-up winning streak for the Knicks and put them a half-game back of the Indiana Pacers for the No. 2 seed.
The Knicks play three of their next five games on the road, which begins with a tilt at the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday and is followed by a trip to take on the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. They figure to be favored in both of those games, but then get three straight against teams with playoff aspirations (vs. Oklahoma City Thursday, vs. Utah Saturday, at Golden State Monday).
Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony became the NBA’s leading scorer last week when moving past Kevin Durant by upping his season-average to 28.6 points. He poured in 35 points in the win against the Warriors and added 30 against the Heat Sunday.
The Knicks are certainly a team with some flaws, but they’re proving to be a competitive bunch that may be able to turn around that recent slump versus the line. It was good to see Jason Kidd finally produce after a prolonged shooting slump versus the Heat, so consider the Knicks “live” as you formulate this week’s NBA predictions.