Boston (26-8) at New York (16-14)
When: Thursday, December 21st 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Boston -4/199
The New York Knicks have not fared very well when their big man Kristaps Porzingis has been out of the lineup, and that trend continued in New York’s latest outing against Charlotte. The Knicks hope to have him back in the lineup when they host the East-leading Boston Celtics on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. Porzingis has missed the last two games due to knee soreness, and the Knicks are to 1-5 without him after a 109-91 loss to the Hornets on Monday. “This kind of injury I’m going to feel it for a little bit. It’s nothing bad. I just got to make sure the knee’s stable and I’m feeling stable on the court,” Porzingis told reporters. New York lost at Boston earlier in the season when the Celtics were in the middle of winning 22 of 24 games, but they’ve split their last eight games and lost 90-89 on Wednesday night at home against a Miami Heat team without its top two scorers. Kyrie Irving scored 33 points but missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer as Boston was held below 90 points for just the second time this season. Irving was one of three 20-point scorers for the Celtics in the 110-89 win over the Knicks in the first meeting, while Porzingis was held to 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting. New York owns an Eastern Conference-leading 14 home wins, but have dropped the last three to Boston at Madison Square Garden.
Boston was held to 37.5% shooting on Wednesday, but Marcus Smart drained five 3-pointers off the bench and is 9-for-13 from long range over the last two games. Rookie Jayson Tatum, who leads the NBA in 3-point percentage (50.5), missed both of his tries and also suffered a dislocated pinky finger, making his status in doubt for Thursday. Guard Jaylen Brown also had a nice game offensively with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting after being held below his 14.5 average in each of the previous three games. Boston will be home to Chicago on Saturday before a Christmas Day battle with Washington.
New York had won four straight while averaging 111.5 points before being held to 3-for-18 from 3-point range in the loss to the Hornets. Two of those 3’s came from forward Michael Beasley, who continued to fill in admirably for Porzingis with 23 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots. Beasley is averaging 26.5 points over the last two games and 20.2 on 54.7 percent shooting in his six starts, compared to 6.9 on 48.1% off the bench. Shooting guard Courtney Lee was held to a season-low two points on 1-of-8 shooting on Monday, but had 13 in the first meeting with Boston.
It appears Porzingis will be back and with the big Latvian in the lineup, playing at home, the Knicks are tough to beat right now. Boston has looked just averaged recently and Tatum is a question mark for tonight. I’ll take the Knicks.
Pick: Knicks +2.5
- Celtics are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Atlantic.
- Celtics are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Celtics are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 road games.
- Celtics are 13-5-1 ATS in their last 19 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Celtics are 20-8-2 ATS in their last 30 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Celtics are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games playing on 0 days rest.
- Celtics are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Celtics are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Knicks are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 home games.
- Knicks are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Knicks are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Knicks are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games.
- Knicks are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 vs. NBA Atlantic.
- Knicks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Over is 4-0 in Celtics last 4 overall.
- Under is 6-1 in Celtics last 7 vs. NBA Atlantic.
- Over is 5-1 in Celtics last 6 games playing on 0 days rest.
- Over is 9-2 in Celtics last 11 road games.
- Under is 9-2 in Celtics last 11 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Over is 4-1 in Celtics last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 4-1 in Celtics last 5 Thursday games.
- Over is 8-3 in Celtics last 11 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Under is 12-5-1 in Celtics last 18 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Over is 5-1 in Knicks last 6 overall.
- Over is 4-1 in Knicks last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Under is 4-1 in Knicks last 5 vs. NBA Atlantic.
- Under is 9-3-2 in Knicks last 14 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 6-2 in Knicks last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 8-3 in Knicks last 11 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
- Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
- Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
- Celtics are 25-12 ATS in the last 37 meetings in New York.
- Road team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.