Connect with us

NBA

NBA picks, odds, best bets for Pacers vs. Knicks and Wolves vs. Nuggets: OG Anunoby absence exposing New York

Published

on

Getty Images

The 2024 NBA postseason is well underway, and the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will provide daily picks for the duration of the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game between now and the NBA Finals.

I’m waving the white flag on my pre-series Knicks optimism. You should never let a single game distort your view of a series, and Game 4 is no exception, but the absence of OG Anunoby has finally stretched the Knicks too thin. They now face an unsolvable lineup dilemma given their present personnel. They have two plausible Anunoby replacements in their starting lineup. One of them is Precious Achiuwa, who had a -24.1 net rating in this series even before the Game 4 blowout, and the other is Miles McBride, whose net rating sat at -21.9 before Game 4. Achiuwa completely compromises the offense’s spacing, but he’s not helping the defense, as the Pacers have scored 145.3 points per 100 possessions with him in the game. Yet when McBride takes his place, the Knicks are suddenly too small. They have a pathetic rebounding rate of just 46.6% during his minutes in this series, and if the Knicks lose the rebounding battle, they’ve lost the series. 

Josh Hart is too small to defend Pascal Siakam. Jalen Brunson is too banged up to score 40 every night and is now down to just 11-of-28 shooting when defended by Aaron Nesmith. The Knicks have no other reliable means of shot creation. Their path to winning despite all of these issues was a blueprint that largely played out in Game 3. They need Donte DiVincenzo to make a bunch of 3-pointers, they need Hart to own the glass, and they need Indiana to play inside of the arc and not beat them with a barrage of 3-pointers of their own. All of that happened on Friday. The Knicks still lost. They’ve just run out of gas. I’d advise the Game 5 line here, but I’d also advise any Pacers series lines you see at close to even money. The Pick: Pacers +2

Aaron Gordon is 8-of-12 from 3-point range across his last two games. Obviously, the fact that he is making these 3-pointers is enormously important for the sake of Denver’s spacing in this series, but I’m much more interested in the fact that he’s taking them. That’s an average of four attempts per game over the last three, a figure he reached only 11 times during the regular season. The Timberwolves are making a concerted effort to leave him open and dare him to shoot. Nine of his 10 3-point attempts in the first three games of the series were wide open, per NBA.com tracking data. Now that he’s confident enough to take them, I’m willing to pay a bit of juice on the chance that he hits a single long-range attempt in Game 5. The Timberwolves want him to take them, and he’s obliged in this series. The Pick: Gordon Over 0.5 3-Pointers.

Continue Reading