Later today, the Phoenix Suns will be in the great wonder of the world in New York City to take on the New York Knicks for the second time this season. Earlier this year, the Suns faced the Knicks and got a big-time win defeating them 116-95 in a similar day game like the one that will be played tomorrow. In that game, the Suns were on a winning streak and had a healthy Devin Booker playing and scoring 20 points in the win that game. The Knicks at the time were at the bottom of the Eastern conference and trying to figure out their identity early in the season. Since then the Suns have lost 10 of their last 14 and the Knicks have won 9 of their last 14 as both teams seem to be going in two completely different directions.
The Suns during that time have been injured and have players been in and out of the lineup over the past month while the Knicks have been healthy and have been getting stellar play from their top three players in Julius Randle, R.J. Barrett, and Jalen Brunson. The Suns for this game will be getting a few reinforcements coming as Landry Shamet and Cameron Payne are both returning from injuries that have sat them out for three and nine games. Here are the odds before tomorrow’s game between the two teams.
The Knicks are favored at -1 and the over/under is set at 225.5 for the game. The good news for the Suns is that they have Shamet and Payne set to return to give them added firepower. The bad news is, in games with Devin Booker out of the lineup, they are 2-7 no matter who has played for them. With this being the fifth game of a six-game road trip for the Suns and them being 1-3 so far, these betting odds aren’t adding up well for the Suns. As for the Knicks, in games where they’re favored against the spread, they’re 9-7-1 and in their last 10, they’re 6-4.
Both teams are really good at covering the over/under as the Suns are 7-2 as underdogs and the Knicks are 10-7 as favorites. I expect the numbers to hit especially with the Suns getting back healthy and their ability to shoot. The Suns are the 3rd best shooting team in the league and they have one really good one in Shamet returning from injury.
Over the last five games, Shamet has shot 42% from three and that’s not to mention Damion Lee who is shooting an impressive 49.3% from three which leads the entire league. The Knicks on the other hand are only shooting 26% from three but have one of the best defense’s in the league ranking 10th in defensive rating. Over the past 14 games, their defensive rating has been 109.5 which would rank the best in the league over the full course of the year. This will be an interesting chess piece game between head coach Monty Williams and head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Even with reinforcements coming back, I got the Knicks to win this matchup by a final score of 117-106. I think their defense has been the best in the league over the past month and the Suns have had a huge turnover problem over the past few games. The Suns will look to use this to help keep them in the game and they will control the flow from then on out in the second half. Tip-off is tomorrow at 1 PM mountain standard time in Madison Square Garden.