Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
The Boston Celtics travel to Madison Square Garden this evening to take on the New York Knicks in what could be a preview of a first-round matchup in this years NBA playoffs.Â The Celtics are 2-point road favorites and the over/under total for the game is set 202.Â Boston finds itself tied with Chicago atop the Eastern Conference, but with Miami just two games back the Celtics could easily slip all the way to third by the seasons end.
The Celtics are coming off an 89-85 victory over New Orleans this past Saturday as a one-point road favorite after an ugly 93-77 loss to Houston as a 1-point road favorite on Friday night. Boston is now 49-19 overall and 32-36 against the spread. Ray Allens team-high 20 points against the Hornets sparked a dramatic 15-point comeback in the second half. He is the teams second leading scorer with 17.3 points a game behind Paul Pierce who is averaging 18.5 points per game. Kevin Garnett leads in rebounds with nine a game and is averaging 14.9 points per game. Boston is averaging 97.2 points a game and leads the league in fewest points allowed, giving up an average of just 91. It also leads the league in shooting percentage, hitting 48.8 percent of its shots from the field. The Celtics are shooting 36.9 percent from three-point range and 76.4 percent from the foul line.Â Boston is 1-4 againt the spread in its last five road games and is 3-6 against the spread in its last nine games overall.Â The total has stayed der in its last six games.
The Knicks lineup has the star power with Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Chauncey Billips all healthy and contributing at a high level, but unfortunately it is not translating to wins. Stoudemire leads the team with 26.2 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game and Anthony is averaging 24.6 points a game since coming over from Denver. Billips has only appeared in seven games since the late February trade but he is averaging 19.1 points per game and a team-high 5.9 assists per game during that span. New York is second only to the Nuggets in scoring with an average of 106.6 points per game, but is 28th in the league in points allowed; giving up an average of 105.8 a game. The Knicks are ranked 20th in the NBA in rebounds with 40.7 a game while their opponents are pulling down an average of 43.7 boards a game, which is one of the worst differentials in the league.Â New York is 3-2 against the spread in its last five games at home, but is just 1-4 against the spread in its last five games overall.Â The total has gone er in five of its last seven games.
Head-to-head, the Celtics have won eight of the last 10 games, but the Knicks are 5-1 against the spread in the last six.Â This is a much bigger game for the Knicks to make a statement.Â The Celtics are cruising until the playoffs begin.Â I believe the Knicks will win tonight, and I will take them plus the 2-points.
New York Knicks +2 Boston Celtics