Los Angeles Clippers vs New York Knicks NBA Preview

Los Angeles Clippers vs New York Knicks NBA Preview

NBA

Los Angeles Clippers vs New York Knicks NBA Preview

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Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks meet each other in some afternoon NBA action at Madison Square Garden. The two teams come in with similar records as the Knicks sit at a record of 22-24 and Los Angeles sits at the record of 23-24. However, the two franchises couldn’t be more different because of who has been on the court for the teams. The Clippers have kept themselves alive in the playoff hunt despite them missing both of their star players in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Head coach Ty Lue has this team playing at a high level and competing in every game they take the court for, something that has been extremely impressive this season. For the Knicks, it has been somewhat of a disappointing year but there is still time to mount some momentum as the push for the playoffs start.

The Knicks have a record of 11-14 at home this year while the Clippers are only 8-12 on the road. The Knicks will be getting some new faces in their lineup as their trade acquisition of forward Cam Reddish from the Atlanta Hawks looks to be making his debut today against Los Angeles. Reddish averaged 11.9 points per game with the Hawks but has shown flashes of brilliance, especially from the three-point one where he is shooting 37 percent. This is the first meeting of the season between these teams as they will meet again in March down in Los Angeles. For both teams, getting this win would allow them to stay right in the thick of the playoff standings as they both are considered middle of the pack teams.

How Los Angeles can win: For Los Angeles, they’ll need their role players to step up once again with their star players missing. Point guard Reggie Jackson is averaging 16.6 points and four assists per game and has stepped up in a big way since Paul George went down with an injury. The Clippers as a team are averaging 105.4 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting while allowing 106.5 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting.

One player to watch for the Clippers is forward Nicolas Batum, who has played very well as of late. He has averaged 9.3 points per game and 4.8 rebounds this season but has increased his scoring output in recent games. If he can continue his hot shooting, the Clippers should feed the hot hand. This team always plays hard and plays team basketball, something coach Ty Lue has instilled in his players.

How New York can win: The Knicks will look to snap a three-game losing streak against the Clippers and it starts with their defense. This Knicks team averages 104.3 points per game on 43.8 shooting while allowing 104.6 points per game on 43.9 shooting. If they can limit the Clippers scoring options, they will have a good chance at winning this game due to the Clippers missing many of their real scoring threats. Against Los Angeles, it starts with defending the perimeter as the Clippers are the eighth ranked three-point shooting team in the league, hitting on 35.7 of their shots from the arch. The Knicks close out perimeter defense has been shaky all season so this must be a point of emphasis if they are to win.

Additionally, the Knicks will need to win the rebound battle as the Clippers really struggle with rebounding the basketball. They rank 23rd in the league and the Knicks are one of the best defensive teams on the inside, ranking tenth overall with a 73.4 defensive rebound success rate. If they can keep the Clippers off the glass, the Knicks should then be able to limit possessions for Los Angeles and could find themselves getting out to a nice lead.

The Spread Via FanDuel:

Moneyline: NY: (-174) | LAC: (+146)

Spread: NY: -4 (-110) | LAC: +4 (-110)

Final Prediction: New York Knicks 107 Los Angeles Clippers 100

What the Clippers have done this season is nothing short of amazing and against a streaky Knicks team, they have the firepower to possibly come out with another win. While the Knicks have underachieved thus far this season, adding Cam Reddish into their lineup gives them more weapons to work with. Look for the home team, in front of the Knicks faithful, to come out and get a much-needed win.

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