Line: Knicks -8
The lowly and Bakeshow-approved Bobcats are a tough team to read. They have a respectable record of 7-9, but they have the third worst point differential and are third to last in Hollinger’s power rankings with a plenty of ground to cover to get to 27th. Based on scoring differential, they probably are not as good as their record, but are certainly better than last year’s record-setting team (a team that gave the Knicks far too much trouble). However, they have only played 16 games and the 45 point loss to the Thunder skews the numbers more than it would in 82 games. If they lost to the Thunder by 20 points instead of 45 points, their point differential would be 24th rather than 28th. Still comfortably in the bottom third, but shouting distance to a team like Milwaukee. Charlotte is also playing .500 ball at home with five of their seven wins coming at the Time Warner Cable Arena, and only one double digit loss. Bottom line, the Bobcats are somewhere between mediocre and really bad, like Sacramento Kings bad (but not historically bad).
Whichever way you slice it, this is a team that an early season juggernaut like the Knicks should steamroll. And with Felton playing and Jason Kidd returing from injury, the offense should like crisper than it has recently. I was all geeked up to lay the points on New York, except now I’m worried that they will be thinking about tomorrow night’s showdown in Miami. Perhaps the Heat were doing some of the same when they gifted the Wizards the team’s second win in its first fifteen games. Ideally, the Knicks blow the Bobcats out early and get to rest their starters. There is a chance, albeit a small one, that rookies Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeff Taylor cause Melo some early problems with their athleticism. That possibility and the Knicks looking forward to South Beach tomorrow night is enough reason for me to stay away.
AC: Staying away
Aaron: 150 Masons on Knicks
Bakeshow: 200 Masons on Knicks
Mike: 100 Masons on Knicks
SCorgan: 50 on Bobcats
AC: 1,157 Masons (5-4 on picks)
Scorgan: 1,047 Masons (7-3 on picks)
Aaron: 947 Masons (7-6 on picks)
Mike: 709 Masons (3-6 on picks)
Bakeshow: 625 Masons (5-7 on picks)