The Knicks are looking to lock up the four seed in the playoffs with a win over the Celtics. How big of a win will they have?
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
Sunday, May 16, 2021 – 1:00PM EDT at Madison Square Garden
The New York Knicks will look to clinch a four-seed in the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs with a win against the Celtics at home. Who would’ve thought I’d be saying this on May 16. The Knicks haven’t been the best offensive team in the league. They’re scoring 110.7 points per 100 possessions and have an effective field goal percentage of 52.6 percent. Both of those are 24 in the league and below average. This team limits turnovers to 13.5 percent per game and are average on the glass with 25.5 percent offensive rebounds.
They’re led by Julius Randle, who will be considered for the Most Valuable Player award, although, likely won’t win. Randle is averaging 24.2 points per game along with 10.2 rebounds and six assists per game. Alongside Randle has been RJ Barrett, who has averaged 17.5 points per game and has become the second largest threat on this team.
The addition of Derrick Rose has been crucial to this team. He’s averaging over 15 points a game but most importantly, has shown some leadership qualities to help bring this team to new heights. Defensivel, the Knicks are allowing 108.5 points per 100 possessions and are second in the league in opponent effective field goal percentage at 51.1 percent. The Knicks aren’t the best at forcing turnovers or keeping teams off the glass, but they’re good at keeping the ball out of the net. That’s the most important part of defense.
The Celtics are just 36-35 on the season and while they’ll be in the playoffs, they’ve had a terrible season to Boston standards. They’re scoring 114.4 points per 100 possessions and scoring 54.6 percent effective field goal percentage. This team isn’t getting a high amount of turnovers but can beat you on the offensive glass for second chances as they average 27.2 percent offensive rebounds. This team will no longer have Jaylen Brown due to season ending injury.
Therefore, Jayson Tatum will take over as the main guy with 26.4 points per game along with 7.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists. But that’ll be in the playoffs. Because Tatum, Evan Fournier, Kemba Walker, Tristan Thompson and Robert Williams are all ruled out for this game. Anyway, Brown’s contributions will be missed as he averaged 24.7 points per game along with six rebounds and 3.4 assists. Defensively, the Celtics have allowed 112.7 points per 100 possessions and opponents are scoring an effective field goal percentage of 54.4 percent.
They’re above average at forcing turnovers but have not nearly been good on the glass on the defensive end compared to the offensive end. The Knicks are only scoring 107.2 points per game. However, they’re only allowing 105 points per game. The Celtics have been more of a fast paced team, scoring 112.9 points per game and allowing 111.5 points per game. While the Celtics are shooting it better from the field, the Knicks are bringing down an extra rebound per game. Outside of that, the Celtics are averaging more assists, blocks and steals.
Basically, the Knicks need to win this game for a number four seed and home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics are sitting their entire team because they’re going to be the seven seed. The only play here is the Knicks.
NBA Pick: Knicks -12 (-110) at Bet 365