Lakers vs Knicks Preview
Lakers vs Knicks Preview: The New York Knicks will take on the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Tuesday night in a heavily anticipated matchup, as the Knicks are coming off a huge victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
The Lakers, on the other hand, are coming off a huge victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, as they look to avoid the play-in tournament.
The Knicks are in a tight race with the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, as they’d almost certainly love nothing more than to avoid playing the Milwaukee Bucks or Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs.
As for the Lakers, they’re currently 1.5 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the sixth spot in the Western Conference, as the Blazers hold the tiebreaker if both teams finished with the same record.
LeBron James is currently listed as OUT for tonight’s game, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported yesterday afternoon that he was ‘likely’ to play. Obviously if LeBron is playing in this game, then that’ll give the Lakers a much better chance to come away with the victory.
The spread for Tuesday night is set at -5.5 Lakers. The over/under is slated at 213.5.
Knicks Look for Statement Win
There is a ton of hype surrounding the Knicks this season, as they’re almost certainly on their way to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Julius Randle will have something to prove against his former team, so it’ll be up to the Lakers to limit his post up opportunities and deny him easy access to the rim.
Randle can also burn you from three-point land and get others involved, as his presence with the ball in his hands alone will attract a ton of gravity. The Lakers will have their hands full trying to stop Randle.
Keep your eyes out for Derrick Rose as well, as he’s averaging 21.0 points and 4.6 assists off the bench in his last five games.
Lakers Look to Avoid Play-In
The defending champs want to avoid the play-in tournament at all costs, so look for them to come out of the gates strong and motivated to try and put the Knicks away early.
Anthony Davis is finally looking like himself again, as he put up 42 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals in their recent win over the Suns, becoming the first Lakers ever to put up that type of performance. Considering all the great players in Lakers history, that is just crazy to think about.
The Lakers will have to come out of the gates hungry and match the intensity of the Knicks in order to pull off this win, as the Knicks’ defense will suffocate you and make life difficult.
There is a ton at stake for both teams, but the Lakers will likely get the job done.