Wednesday Night in the NBA we will see the New York Knicks travel to the Philadelphia to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. The game is scheduled for an 7 p.m. start time and it will be televised live on ESPN. Currently the odds have the Sixers favored by 4.5 points with the total sitting at 192.5 points for the game.
Free Analysis: If the New York Knicks have any designs on winning the Atlantic Division, they can mark Wednesday's game in the "must-win" category. The Knicks take aim at their fifth consecutive victory when they visit the division-leading Philadelphia 76ers. New York (22-24) seemed to be fading as recently as a week ago, when a six-game skid dropped the club seven games behind Philadelphia and 4 1/2 back of second-place Boston, prompting coach Mike D'Antoni's resignation. "Guys are playing at a very high, confident level right now," said forward Carmelo Anthony, who had 17 points and eight rebounds versus the Raptors. "We just want to bottle that up and move on and keep it going." The Knicks, particularly Stoudemire (17.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG) and Anthony (20.6 PPG), were clearly fed up with D’Antoni’s system and seemed to play half speed by the end of their ex-coach’s tenure. Since Woodson took over, both are playing inspired defense and efficient offense. Stoudemire is averaging 15.8 PPG (57.5% FG) and 8.5 RPG in 29.8 MPG, while Anthony is averaging 15.3 PPG in 27.0 MPG. D’Antoni darling PG Jeremy Lin (14.8 PPG, 6.4 APG) has adjusted just fine to Woodson’s system, averaging 14.0 PPG on 54.8% FG and 6.8 APG (and only 3.5 TOPG) in 27.8 MPG. The Sixers, meanwhile, have gone a pedestrian 6-11 since a very good 20-9 start to the season, allowing both Boston and New York back into the race, but they did end a three-game losing streak with Monday's 105-80 romp at league-worst Charlotte. They dominated the boards to the tune of 51-31 and outscored the Bobcats 59-36 in the second half. Hosting the Knicks on Wednesday and Boston on Friday will give Philadelphia an opportunity to re-establish some breathing room atop the division."You don't want to look ahead on your schedule but when you lose three in a row, you start doing a lot of things out of character," guard Louis Williams said after Monday's win. "We're serious about trying to win this division and now we have to play the number two and three teams this week so we felt like it was important to get this one." When the teams met in New York 10 days ago, a 106-94 Philadelphia win, SG Evan Turner (9.0 PPG), SF Andre Iguodala (12.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.6 APG) and sixth man Lou Williams (15.8 PPG) did whatever they wanted on the offensive end. Turner went for 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting to go along with 15 rebounds, Iguodala had 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, and Williams had 28 points in 28 minutes. The duo of PG Jrue Holiday (13.8 PPG) and PF Thaddeus Young (13.2 PPG on 50.5% FG) have really been their most reliable offensive threats during their four-game slide, with Holiday averaging 18.5 PPG on 48.4% shooting and Young at 12.0 PPG on 53.5% shooting.The Knicks have been playing better defense of late, but the sixers have played great defense all year long. Philly is tops in points allowed (87.7 ppg) and tops in defensive FG% (41.8%). At home this team has been even better as they have allowed just 84.2 ppg on 41.1% shooting. The Sixers are also 3rd in the league in 3-pt defense (31.6 %) and we know the Knicks take a lot of Threes. The Sixers and Knicks have split a pair of meetings this season, both at Madison Square Garden. New York is just 3-10 in the past 13 trips to south Philly.
Free Pick: Gonna go with the Under in this one. Dantonio couldn't get the Knicks to play much defense this year, but that has all changed under Woodson as the Knicks have allowed just 88.5 ppg in the 4 games since he took over. The scoring for the Knicks has also been up, but I don't see them getting a ton of points tonight vs the top ranked defensive team in the league.Philadelphia allows the fewest points in the league at 87.7 ppg, plus they are #1 in defensive FG% as they have allowed their opponents to hit just 41.8% of their shots. as scary as those numbers are, they are even scarier at home where the Sixers have allowed just 84.2 ppg on 41.1% shooting. That will certainly test this Knicks offense. The Sixers are not a running team and they just don't score a whole lot as they average just 94.4 ppg overall and just 93.7 ppg at home, plus they come in averaging just 89.5 ppg in their last 4 games. The Sixers will not get into a shootout with this team, especially at home where their home games have averaged just 177.9 ppg. Both teams are playing excellent defense and that should keep this game in the lower 180's at best.
Free Picks: Knicks at Sixers Bettinghttp://PregameVideos.com - Sixers have value due to public perception and Knicks are 3-0 with new coach plus other factors NBA bettors need to know about Knicks at Sixers (Wednesday, March 21, 2012) from Pregame.com - Including predictions from Stephen Nover and analysis from host Marco D'Angelo.