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The New York Knicks are looking to bounce back on their home floor against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Thunder hitting their stride
Following a slow start to the season, the Oklahoma City Thunder have steadily pushed forward toward holding one of the top records in the league over the several months. In fact, since starting 0-4 on the season, the Thunder have gone 27-14 that has been the sixth-best record in the league over that span. This has seen more consistency from them on a nightly basis with their core group leading the charge. It has helped push them to hold the third-best record in the stacked Western Conference. Much of which has seen their pair of All-Stars in Russell Westbrook and Paul George leading the way putting together highly productive campaigns. Despite his persistent shooting woes, the former league MVP is currently on pace to average a triple-double for the third straight year as he’s currently averaging 21.8 points, 10.5 assists, and 10.6 rebounds per contest.
He called game.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 20, 2019
However, it has seen George put together an MVP-caliber campaign as he’s currently averaging career highs across the board with 26.7 points along with 8.0 rebounds while shooting 44.2 percent from the floor and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc. George has been their leading offensive factor on a nightly basis behind his consistent scoring punch. George put that on display in the win over the Philadelphia 76ers where he notched 31 points in the win that included hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer. His production has been key in helping pace the franchise forward toward being one of the top teams in the Western Conference. This will be shown on Monday where he should be in line for a strong performance that guides the Thunder to comfortable win on the road against the struggling Knicks.
Defensive issues mounting for Knicks
It has been an absolute struggle for the Knicks to find any level of consistency as the team has limped through the year. This has seen them continue to flounder holding one of the worst records in the league that have persisted on through the month of January. This has seen them drop nine out of their last 10 games including their last five straight contests. This has centered on their large amount of issues have come with their lack of effectiveness defensively ranking as one of the worst teams in the league on that end of the floor. They are currently 27th in the NBA giving up 115.4 points per game along with being 28th with opponents shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and tied for 19th shooting 36.2 percent from beyond the arc. It has been a large reason for their lack of success throughout the year.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 17, 2019
This has largely overshadowed the strong play of their young core group along the way. It has seen several of their players pick it up over the last several weeks. Rookie forward Kevin Knox has been one of their primary offensive factors over the last several weeks having averaged 17.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in the past 17 games. Knox has been their leading offensive factor behind his strong play as the game rolls along. Meanwhile, point guard Emmanuel Mudiay has averaged 17.4 points and 5.1 assists, which are team-best numbers in the last 22 games. However, if they hope to break through against the Thunder, it will need them to put forth a strong defensive performance on Monday to have a chance to get a highly encouraging win.
- Knicks are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up loss.
- Knicks are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games against a team with a winning road record.
- Knicks are 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games.
- Thunder are 4-0 ATS in their last four Monday games.
- Thunder are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games against a team with a winning % below .400.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Thunder hold the decisive edge in this matchup that should allow them to cruise past the Knicks. They should be in store for a strong performance on the road. New York is also 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Prediction: Oklahoma City -9
Full-Game Total Pick
The Thunder should be in line for a strong performance on the road against the Knicks. It will be enough to push the contest past the over/under line in what will be one of the better offensive outings. This over is also 5-1 in Thunder’s last six games overall.
Prediction: Over 227.5