Lakers V. Knicks
New York vs LA, Biggie vs Pac, people that are dicks to your face vs people that are dicks behind your back, Pizza vs Beyond burgers (they eat that shit in LA right?), a somewhat dead city rivalry between two of the league’s oldest teams with fairly high stakes for both teams so you know what that means: PRIMETIME BABY. And yes I know the Knicks just played the LA Clippers but does that really count? The only Clippers season ticket holder I’ve heard of is Bill Simmons and he’s a Celtics fan. (On an Unrelated note this 70's prime time NBA song is fire.)
But like I said, this is a crucial game for both teams. The Knicks are in the middle of a three-game skid following a nine-game winning streak and that’s not unimportant with the way the east is shaking out. As I'm writing this article, there's about a three-game difference between the Knicks being a 4-seed and therefore getting home-court advantage in the first round and them being a 7-seed and having to be in the play-in tournament. Granted Brunson is out, but the Knicks could have enough to get it done with Quickley stepping up and Josh Hart coming off the bench. Obviously, Randle is gonna have to play well also but that’s true for all Knicks games. This is a must-win for the Knicks so they can hold onto their spot in the East, stop the skid, and stop Knicks fans from looking like Spike Lee yesterday.
While I said this is a must-win for the Knicks this is an absolute CAN'T-LOSE for the Lakers. The bottom of the West playoff race is tighter than a clown car right now and where the Lakers sit there’s about a 2-game difference between them being a 6 seed and them missing the play-in tournament altogether. The Lakers have been turning up since the trade deadline and All-Star break, but while some people may attribute that to all of the new pieces they got, I personally think it’s because Lebron said these remaining regular season games are the most important games of his career (even though he's only played in 2 out of 8 of those 23 so far).
In all seriousness, the trade deadline has completely turned the Lakers around. Flipping Westbrick into Malik Beasley who can actually hit threes and Jarred Vanderbilt who brings that spark and toughness on defense was HUGE for them. Tom Holland’s doppelganger Austin Reaves has been playing some good ball and so has Schroeder, but the Laker's success on Sunday night is gonna have to come down to whether or not Anthony Davis remembers he can be one of the most dominant players in the League if he wants to.
My pick for this game is Knicks Moneyline (+100). My reasoning is this: betting on the Lakers SUCKS, especially when Lebron is out and you have to rely on AD. I think that as of the last few games the Lakers have been overperforming and the Knicks underperforming. This is the perfect time for a Knicks get-back game and I think that's what happens. BING BONG