The NBA season is proceeding as expected in some ways, but certainly not in others. How will things change, and how will they remain in place on Wednesday night?
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks
Odds: Pacers -5.5
The Knicks might stand a good chance of beating the Pacers later in the season, but not on this game at this point in the season. The Knicks couldn’t even beat the Pacers in the 2013 playoffs with center Tyson Chandler on the floor. Indiana center Roy Hibbert outplayed Chandler, who was dealing with a back injury at the time. Now, though, Chandler isn’t even able to take the court. A new injury suffered a few weeks ago has left the Knicks without their anchor in the paint. New York’s Andrea Bargnani is simply not a strong or tough defender near the rim, so opponents know that they can attack the rim with impunity against the Knicks. This should spell almost-certain doom for New York against Hibbert and David West, two strong blue-collar players who know what to do near the rim on both offense and defense. The Pacers have the size and depth needed to make this game a bloodbath on the glass. Indiana should enjoy a huge rebounding advantage. It will be up to Carmelo Anthony to hit a very high percentage of his shots and also get to the free throw line.
If New York can get Hibbert into foul trouble and hit a high percentage of three-pointers while also accumulating a lot of points at the foul line, the Knicks could create the recipe for an upset. However, the margins for error are so small for New York at this point in time. The Pacers should definitely be able to control this game and have an answer for almost anything the Knicks might attempt to do. New York has been a terrible home-court team this season, anyway, so one should not place much value on being at home for the Knicks. Take the Pacers on the point spread.
Detroit Pistons @ Atlanta Hawks
Odds: Hawks -5
It’s the return of Josh Smith to Atlanta, where the Detroit forward once played for the Hawks. Detroit has not gotten off to a very encouraging start this season, with Smith failing to make the kind of difference that Motor City basketball fans were hoping for. Perhaps, though, this game can make a real difference for Smith and the Pistons. Perhaps this game will motivate Smith to be better and help his teammates in the process. Yet, one should not bet on this being a galvanizing moment for the Pistons. Take Atlanta on the betting lines here.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors
Odds: Warriors -8.5
It’s power versus speed in this contrast of styles. Playing at home, Golden State should be able to get out in the open floor and run the way it wants to. Memphis will have a harder time slowing this game down and defending all of Golden State’s perimeter shooters. The Warriors have more weapons – and better ones – in comparison with the Grizzlies.
Pick: Golden State