NBA Pick: New York Knicks @ Milwaukee Bucks Preview 4/11/12
There is just a single game separating the New York Knicks and the Milwaukee Bucks in the chase for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The two teams do battle in NBA betting action at the Bradley Center on Wednesday night in a crucial tilt on ESPN.
Last night’s loss to the Chicago Bulls really wasn’t all that much of a surprise for the Knicks, but they have a brutal turnaround to take on a Milwaukee team that hasn’t had to travel in nine days and has had just one game in the last three days prior to this one. With Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin still nursing injuries, the depth for New York just isn’t there, though we do definitely see a level of talent available for Head Coach Mike Woodson. Carmelo Anthony is tearing things up, and he is proving that he is one of the top players in the league now that he is basically the lone alpha dog on the squad. Melo had 72 points in back to back games against the Bulls, one of the best defensive teams in the entire league. Now, he has six games out of seven with at least 25 points scored. JR Smith isn’t shooting the ball that well, but he is getting his points off of the bench and is averaging 10.8 per game. Baron Davis is proving to be a serviceable point guard, while Iman Shumpert’s perimeter game is getting better by the day.
We give the Bucks a heck of a lot of credit for going out and making the move to get Monta Ellis. It was the type of bold move that saves seasons that are on the way down the tubes, and that is exactly what Milwaukee hopes happens. The team had won four in a row, albeit against four teams that aren’t going to be anywhere near the playoffs when the season is said and done with. After that, it turned around and was spanked by 20 in this building by the Oklahoma City Thunder. That being said, the talent is healthy and is clearly here for the Bucks. Ellis has averaged 16.1 points per game since coming over to Milwaukee, and he and Brandon Jennings make up a very talented backcourt. Drew Gooden and Ersan Ilyasova are both solid post players, while Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has had his moments in the paint as well. Sure, what is missing is that big time hulking post player that is going to rip down a dozen boards every single night, but this is still a team that is dangerous and would have the ability to at least remotely compete with the top teams in the conference if it were to get into the playoffs.
The Final Word: This is going to be a playoff type atmosphere in a huge game on Wednesday night at the Bradley Center. Don’t be shocked if the Bucks come out and lay the smack down on the Knicks to get into a tie for that very last spot in the playoffs.
New York Knicks @ Milwaukee Bucks Free Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -4