The holiday season is the happiest of the year, but that doesn’t mean there are no dark days in December. For the seventh day of the Bet Basics Advent Calendar, we’ll try to make a gloomy day in New York a little brighter.
New York City is dark, not because of the rain that’s occupied the week or the clouds that overhang. It’s the return of a villain, Trae Young, and what that means for a New York Knicks team.
Day 7 – Gaining With The Grinch
Young’s return to MSG is met with boos 👻 as inevitable as the morning sun, but he’s made a habit of silencing crowds. Wednesday night, his Atlanta Hawks make the trek north again.
The Hawks have scuffled to a 13-11 start, despite hefty preseason projections. Their offense has not meshed particularly well, culminating in a 110.9 Offensive Rating, good for 21st in the NBA.
However, the Knicks have a habit of their own: allowing the three ball. Their perimeter defense has been woefully insufficient, allowing players to drive and kick to an open man. Their 112.9 defensive rating ranks 23rd across the league. Even in their win on Sunday–a 92-81 contest–they allowed 35 attempts from deep. If the Cleveland Cavaliers hit on more than just eight (23%) of them, they likely would have been left in the dust.
Additionally, the effort has just not been there on defense. Whether it be Julius Randle’s antics or a widespread sense of fatigue, the Knicks have gotten embarrassed in the effort department time and time again. It is often attributed to the struggles of head coach Tom Thibodeau.
There’s a perfect storm brewing in New York. Young and fellow guard Dejounte Murray can both penetrate, dish, and shoot, even if the rest of the team has struggled from deep. The Knicks’ biggest weakness plays right into the strengths of a star with a vendetta against the Garden faithful.
If New York even pretended to compete with the same effort they had during their most recent playoff run, this may be a different story. But Thibodeau’s job seems to consistently be on the line, and his team has not responded favorably. There’s simply no telling whether or not the Knicks will show up on any given night. 🤷🏼♂️
As things stand, DraftKings lists Atlanta at +2 for the contest, with -110 odds, meaning you’d need to wager $110 to win $100. Be sure to use their promotion for Bet Basics readers if you’d like to join in on the Advent festivities: BET $5 GET $200 IN BONUS BETS.
This article refers to against the spread (ATS) bets, where teams “cover” on successful bets. In order to cover, the favorite, denoted with a (-), must win by more than the allotted point total. Here, the Knicks must win by more than two. On the other hand, the Hawks, underdogs with a (+) beside the spread, must win or lose by less than the two-point spread. If the game ends up with exactly a two-point differential, it would be considered a push and you’d get your money back.