The Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks is a battle of two of the hottest teams in the NBA at the moment. Something has to give when these two teams meet up against one another as the regular season is close to an end.
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The Knicks are playing great basketball as evident of their last win against the Pacers. Carmelo Anthony hit the game-winning jumper with 4.9 seconds left to give the Knicks their seventh straight win. Anthony then blocked Danny Granger’s last-second attempt to cap a defensive stand by the Knicks that held the Pacers scoreless in the final 3:32. Anthony added five assists, four rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals for the Knicks (42-38). Granger had 20 points for the Pacers (37-44).
The Knicks are one win away from locking up the sixth seed in the East, which ensures them of facing either the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. Then again, even if they finished seventh, those two teams would still be the options. And the Knicks insist they have no preference.
The Knicks’ coaching staff spent part of the afternoon on Sunday in Indianapolis watching their two potential opponents play each other on the ABC national broadcast. Never too soon to begin scouting, but they weren’t targeting a specific team.
After a troubling 1-9 stretch, Mike D’Antoni’s team is now riding a seven-game winning streak, which is one shy of the season high. With two games left, the Knicks need just one win to clinch the sixth seed, but what is really the motivation?
Carmelo Anthony may be the second-best closer in New York next to the legendary Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees. Anthony’s game-winner against the Pacers on Sunday gave him 16 go-ahead field goals made in the last 10 seconds of a game, which is the most by any NBA player since the 2003-04 season.
The Bulls are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game and the Knicks are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games against a team with a winning record. The Knicks slow down the Bulls with a big win at home.
NBA Sports Betting Pick: New York Knicks