Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks
Date and Time: Sunday, March 5, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Warriors vs. Knicks TV Coverage: ABC
The Warriors struggled offensively in their first game without Durant and lost consecutive regular season games for the first time since the end of the 2014-15 season, a stretch that spanned over 140 games. Golden State certainly missed Durant with everyone having difficulty making shots. Steph Curry’s woes from behind the arc continued with just two makes in 11 attempts and the Dubs were just 6 of 30 from distance. They managed a season-low in the 94-87 loss to the Bulls.
It’s hard to imagine Curry struggling for much longer and the Dubs will need some time to work on rotations without Durant. That could affect how they play in the time without K.D. But the Warriors still have plenty of talent and will be facing adversity in the regular season for the first time in a few years. Taking Durant and his 25 points out of the lineup will affect the over/under. Without KD for the past two games, the Dubs have cashed the under both times and have played below the total in the past four.
The Knicks have decided to take a page out of Phil Jackson’s coaching book and implement parts of the triangle offense into the game plan. It’s a style of play that Derrick Rose admitted he hasn’t completely grasped yet. And that’s not good if the point guard can’t run the show. And while not everyone is a fan of Jackson’s triangle, he does have one ally in Kristaps Porzingis. Returning from a two-game absence, Porzingis dropped 20 in a win over the Magic on Wednesday.
Following a stretch where they lost eight of 10 and went just 3-7 ATS, the Knicks have a mini-run heading into the weekend. They’ve won two of three and have a favorable stretch of games following this encounter. The Knicks will play five of six games against teams with a losing record after the Dubs, with two against Brooklyn. Without Durant and saddled with their first losing streak in two years, the Warriors could be included in that stretch.
It’s safe to say the Warriors aren’t the same team without Durant. Take an MVP out of the lineup and no team will be the same. But we saw just how vulnerable the Warriors are without him. They essentially lost two games without Durant, who went down just two minutes into Wednesday’s game with Washington. The Dubs couldn’t overcome his loss in that one and fell 112-108.
It wasn’t pretty the next game. The Warriors bungled their way to a season-low point total and again struggled from the field. The league’s highest scoring and best shooting team suddenly looks beatable and the Bulls did just that. The Dubs aren’t the same team as last season when they won 73 games without KD. The team sacrificed a lot to sign him and built the roster around him. I’m sure Patrick McCaw is a good kid, but he’s no KD and the Warriors will have to work on rotations until KD is ready to return.
Warriors vs. Knicks Free Picks
For the first time in a long time during the regular season the Warriors are facing some adversity. They enter this game riding a losing streak in the regular season for the first time in two years and will be without Durant for at least a month. Still, the Dubs have the Splash Brothers and they’ll have to pick it up in KD’s absence.
There will be an adjustment period for the Dubs, but the talent level is still higher than that of the Knicks. Don’t expect Curry and Thompson to continue their struggles from the field and it’s a golden opportunity for others on the roster to step up. Check back for odds at BookMaker.eu and look for the total to drop. As the Warriors make their adjustments without Durant, that number will be well within reach.
Warriors vs. Knicks ATS Pick: Take the over at BookMaker.eu
Warriors vs. Knicks Score Prediction: Warriors 113 – Knicks 106