Knicks vs. Nets Odds
|Moneyline||+190 / -225|
|Time||Monday, 7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via BetMGM|
It’s another battle between the boroughs of New York as the Knicks head to the Barclays Center to take on the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets played on Sunday afternoon and lost to the Bulls, while the Knicks look to build off their dominant win over the Pistons on Saturday.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are not afraid of the Nets. When asked about Brooklyn’s “Big Three,” Reggie Bullock gave the perfect response.
Reggie Bullock says the Knicks won't be fazed by facing the Nets' Big 3:
"We got a Big 5" pic.twitter.com/XmCVmWTb5r
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) April 4, 2021
This is a testament to this Knicks team and its next-man-up mentality.
Although the Knicks were quiet at the trade deadline, the acquisition of Derrick Rose has paid dividends. Rose has been New York’s most effective player in Net Rating and owns a +12.2 mark, per NBA Advanced Stats. He’s a leader, defender and facilitator on offense. Importantly, when he’s on the court, it means that Elfrid Payton and his -5.0 point differential per 100 possessions is not.
The Knicks have played elite defense this season, and Rose fits this style of play. Since the trade (Feb. 7), the Knicks have the best defense in the league and are holding their opponents to 107.2 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. While they see an uptick against teams with top-10 offenses, they still have the fifth-best mark at 114.9.
The Knicks have struggled on offense this season and score just 108.6 points per 100 possessions, but against bottom-10 defenses, of which the Nets are, they scored 111.5 points per 100. This has allowed them to post a 10-8 straight-up (SU) record against bottom tiered defenses.
The Knicks’ only injury concern is Norvel Pelle, who is listed as probable with a dislocated right index finger, but he only played three minutes against the Pistons so he’s not a key rotation piece.
The Nets have held out James Harden for the past few games due to a tight right hamstring, so keep an eye on his status with him listed as questionable. Tyler Johnson is listed doubtful with a knee injury and Blake Griffin is doubtful due to rest.
If Harden is unable to play, the Nets will lean on Kyrie Irving, but they are just 8-9 SU when Harden does not play. Harden surprisingly has just a 4.7 Net Rating when he’s on the floor, but Brooklyn is 26-7 in all of the games he has played. If there wasn’t such a negative narrative around his exit from Houston, Harden would likely be garnering even more MVP attention. This is something my colleague, Raheem Palmer, has been detailing in his MVP Tracker.
Since Kevin Durant last played on Feb. 14, the Nets have held the sixth-best point differential (+6.3) in the league, per Cleaning the Glass. They’ve excelled offensively, but their defense has held them back.
Brooklyn gives up 113.4 points per 100 possessions. Opponents take 38.7% of their shots from 3-point range and even though they only make them at about league average, the Nets’ interior defense allows 13.2 second chance points per 100 possessions, per NBA Advanced Stats. Teams are able to maximize their opportunities by crashing the boards.
There are some rumblings that Durant may return for this game, considering he has played some 4-on-4. Shams Charania indicated that he is “closing in on a return to the floor.”
If Durant is able to go, it will be interesting to see what kind of minutes limit he might have. Regardless, the Nets would love to see him on the court with his 10.2 Net Rating and ability to stretch the floor while defending both the paint and the perimeter.
When these two teams played a few weeks ago, the Knicks were missing Rose while the Nets had a healthy Harden and Irving. The Knicks were able to close the gap at the end of the game and there were a few controversial calls that centered around Knicks’ All-Star Julius Randle.
This spread will be dramatically impacted by the availability of Durant and Harden. It opened at Nets -5.5 early Sunday evening.
If neither Durant or Harden play, this sets up as a play on the Knicks; however, if they do play, then there’s significant value on the Brooklyn Nets.
If Harden plays and Durant sits I’d project this line close to 7.5. If both Harden and Durant play it may swell to double digits. If neither plays and the offense is left to Kyrie Irving, we could see this around 2.5.
When the Nets’ dynamic trio plays together, Brooklyn scores an impressive 126.4 points per 100 possessions and this offensive firepower is difficult for anyone to keep up with, especially the Knicks, who have relied on their strong and gritty defense.
I lean towards the Knicks in this matchup, but this game is impossible to bet on right now with the injury news being so in flux. Turn notifications on for FantasyLabsNBA on Twitter and be prepared to jump on the spread based on the news to secure the best line.
If both Durant and Harden play, I want a double-digit spread. If just one of the two plays, I would need to see 7.5 to put action on it.
Pick: Knicks Spread, but wait for the injury news on Durant and Harden
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