The New York Knicks (12-15) host the Golden State Warriors (22-5) this Tuesday evening. Steph Curry should finally break Ray Allen’s career record for three-point makes as he is just one behind now after a week-long media frenzy over the inevitable. He’ll get to do it in front of a national audience on TNT in one of the most famous venues in the world. And what about the NBA odds?
Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at Madison Square Garden
The Warriors (17-9-1 ATS) are a 3.5-point favorite over the Knicks (13-9 ATS) at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks. Beyond the record, can Curry lead the Warriors to a comfortable win? Golden State barely got past the Pacers last night in a 102-100 win.
Warriors: Curry and the Record
Curry and Golden State coach Steve Kerr have admitted as much that the record chase has made the last week more difficult than it needed to be. A week ago, Curry floated the idea that he could hit 16 threes in one game – the NBA record is 14 by teammate Klay Thompson – to break Ray Allen’s record. Maybe there was some motivation to do it in front of the home crowd before the Warriors embarked on a five-game road trip where it would surely happen.
But since ending Phoenix’s 18-game winning streak, the Warriors have been playing a mortal brand of basketball after starting the season in such historic fashion. Over the last five games, the Warriors are 3-2 and rank 21st in offensive rating and 23rd in 3P% (33.0%).
Curry had very poor shooting performances in losses to the Spurs (7-of-28) and 76ers (6-of-20), and he was just 3-of-14 from three in Philadelphia over the weekend. The Warriors were down 8 points at halftime in Indiana on Monday night before rallying late for the 102-100 win. Curry had a team-high 26 points, finished plus-17, but he also had a season-high 7 turnovers and missed his chance at tying Allen’s record on a game-winning shot. Teammate Kevon Looney got the game-winning basket with 13 seconds left.
Curry only has one game this season where he failed to make more than one three, so the record is as good as his on Tuesday night. Maybe he can finally stop pressing and just get back to playing high-level, winning basketball.
Golden State’s top-ranked defense has not fallen off. Even over the last five games, the Warriors are still ranked No. 4 in defensive rating. The Warriors held Indiana to just 16 points in the fourth quarter, a key to the comeback win last night. The Knicks are 23rd in offensive rating over the last five games and ranked 18th on the season. They will have to have a stellar game to crack this defense that has still not allowed 115 points in any of the 27 games this season.
Knicks: Is the Spread Too Low?
Unless the Warriors decide to rest Curry at the last minute with another back-to-back on the way, this game really feels like a bigger mismatch than the 3.5-point spread suggests. The Knicks are reeling right now, 1-6 over their last seven games, and they are not good enough on either side of the court to really compete with the Warriors.
The Knicks have taken one of the biggest tumbles on defense this season as they are 24th in defensive rating. The Knicks are 3-14 when they allow more than 103 points while the Warriors are 21-1 when they score at least 103 points. The New York offense is just 18th in offensive rating as Julius Randle has struggled to maintain his success from a season ago.
New York will not beat this team in a shootout as it does not have the offense to keep up. The common thread in every Golden State loss this year is an offensive letdown as the defense has not really had a terrible game yet. Not only have the Warriors not allowed anyone to crack 115 points, but no one has shot 50% from the field either in any game.
But in every loss, the Warriors shot under 45% from the field and under 35% from three. Otherwise, they are 17-0 when they shoot above 45% and 13-0 when they make more than 35% from three.
The key to this really has been Curry. When he shoots at least 39% from the field, the Warriors are 18-0 this season and 3-4 when he is under 39%. Likewise, they are 15-0 when Curry shoots better than 35% from three.
On what should be a memorable night for Curry, I think once he gets the record out of the way early, he should feel relieved and get back on track. The Warriors are a much better team than the Knicks and should win this one comfortably.
I’ll take the Warriors to cover for your Tuesday NBA picks.
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