The New York Knicks’ nine-game winning streak came to an end a week ago against the Phoenix Suns, but they got back on track with wins over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday and Houston Rockets on Sunday.
Now the Knicks find themselves in a back-to-back situation on Monday as they visit the Memphis Grizzlies. Are the Knicks a good option for your NBA picks or is Memphis the better play against the spread?
New York Knicks at Memphis Grizzlies
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks have been the best team in the NBA over the last couple of weeks, which is hard to fathom. The team has clearly come a long way in Tom Thibodeau’s first season on the job. Not only has he developed the young cast, he’s immensely improved the team defensively. Entering Monday’s action, the Knicks are the top team in the NBA in terms of points per game allowed.
New York is giving up just 104.7 points per outing, which is nearly eight points better than the 112.3 it allowed last season. That’s the main reason why the Knicks have had the turnaround. On top of that, the play of All-Star Julius Randle – who leads the team in points (24.1), rebounds (10.4) and assists (5.9) – and Rookie of the Year candidate Immanuel Quickley. As long as they maintain the same focus that they’ve had of late, they should have no problem getting past a slumping Grizzlies squad.
The Memphis Grizzlies were hoping to be a young team on the rise but that hasn’t really played out as expected. Entering Monday’s action, they are just 32-31 and have dropped three of their last four. For much of the season, the thinking was that the team was without Jaren Jackson Jr. – one of the members of the team’s “big three.” However, his return hasn’t exactly sparked any serious turnaround. He’s still playing limited minutes and is coming off a seven-point outing when the Grizzlies lost to the hapless Orlando Magic on Saturday.
The other concern betting Memphis here is that it isn’t a very good home team. The Grizzlies are 18-14 on the road but just 14-17 at home. The Knicks are a more reliable home team (22-11) than on the road (14-17), so that possibly offsets that home-court advantage.
The Grizzlies are 13th in the NBA in points per game but they are in the bottom half of the league in terms of field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage. Facing off with a Knicks team that thrives at the defensive end, the Grizzlies will likely have an inefficient night scoring and lose their fifth game in six tries.
Pick: New York Knicks +140