The slumping New York Knicks (4-11) will travel to Dallas to face the upstart Dallas Mavericks (10-5). During the off-season, these two teams engaged in a trade that sent center Tyson Chandler back to Dallas. Point guard Raymond Felton was also included in the trade, but Chandler, an ex-Defensive Player of the Year, was the key cog of the deal. In return, New York received point guards Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin, center Sam Dalembert, and two second round picks. New York’s star small forward, Carmelo Anthony, who is averaging only 23.2 points per game, is dealing with knee soreness and back spasms. Anthony exited Monday’s game against Atlanta due to back spasms and will not play in tonight’s contest. Anthony is averaging four fewer points per game than last season, but is shooting a lot better from 3-point range. Anthony is making 48 percent of 3-point attempts this season compared to just 41 percent last season. With Anthony injured, JR Smith and Amare Stoudemire will need to step up. Stoudemire is averaging 16.3 points per game over his last three contests.
As a team, Dallas is averaging an NBA-high 109.3 points per game. Despite the lofty offensive totals, Dallas’ offense has struggled recently. Dallas has lost back-to-back games to the Houston Rockets and to the injury-ravaged Indiana Pacers. Dallas has averaged just 96 points per game in these two losses. Look for Dallas to get back on track against a New York team that is allowing 99 points per game.
Even though Dallas and New York split last year’s meetings, Dallas has won 14 of their last 17 home games against New York. Anthony averaged 32 points per game during last year’s meetings, but will miss this game.
According the current NBA lines, Dallas is a 12.5-point home favorite over the short-handed Knicks. Since Anthony is not playing and given the revenge factor for Chandler, this feels like a blowout. While it’s never advisable to lay double digit points, the spot seems right and with Thanksgiving occurring tomorrow, I’m not expecting the Knicks to show up. Lay the big number with your NBA Picks.
Official Pick: Dallas Mavericks -12.5