Raymond Felton apologised to his team’s fans after the New York Knicks lost 102-97 to the Charlotte Bobcats at Madison Square Garden earlier this week. Their notoriously harsh supporters may vent further ire if they also drop the instant re-match tonight in North Carolina.
Felton reckons they’ve not played “Knicks basketball” in their 1-3 start and they’ll now need to adjust to the absence of Tyson Chandler who is out for at least a month. New York has been giving up a respectable 94.0 points per game so far but that figures to rise in the absence of their defensive fulcrum.
But they’re also struggling to put up points with Carmelo Anthony averaging 23.8 ppg but shooting just 37.1% and Andrea Bargnani delivering just 8.8, leaving one wit to quip that the Italian – a summer acquisition from Toronto - is running out of countries to make it in the NBA.
Charlotte are off to a 3-2 start and are defending well, but being the Bobcats it’s sure to fall apart eventually. They’re an attractive +2.5 on the handicap at 1.91. But expect New York to push for points with the line at 191.5.
Two teams with more holes than a sieve clash in Oregon when the Portland Trailblazers host the Sacramento Kings. While Damien Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are each averaging 24 points, the Blazers are giving up 105.8, part of which can be attributed to poor rebounding.
But they’re shooting well from the outside and with the Kings perimeter defence a glaring weakness, back Portland on the handicap of -7.5 at 1.91 and go over the total points line of 203.
Elsewhere, there are two attractive handicaps: with Chicago not yet catching fire, look at Utah on the generous handicap of +12.5 at 1.81, and go with New Orleans at -9.5 over the Los Angeles Lakers with Steve Nash set to sit out.
Take Charlotte to get the win over New York
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