Oct 22, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) is congratulated by New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier (13) during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
A pair of 2-1 teams clash at MSG as the 76ers visit the Knicks
Philadelphia center Joel Embiid is questionable with a knee injury
The odds and matchups can be found below with a prediction
It should be a measuring stick game just to see how the Philadelphia Sixers and host New York Knicks stack up.
Instead, injuries to the visitors make this one advantage home team when they tip off Tuesday at 7:30pm ET at MSG. The game will be the first half of the TNT double-header.
With question marks dotting the Sixers’ roster, the books held the line later than usual, eventually leaning on the Knicks as 1-point favorites.
76ers vs Knicks Odds
New York Knicks
Odds as of October 25th at FanDuel
If only Ben Simmons’ (personal) leave was the extent of their issues.
Instead, Philadelphia could be without big man Joel Embiid, who is dealing with a knee injury suffered last time out against the Thunder. His backup, Andre Drummond (ankle), is also questionable.
Joel Embiid and Seth Curry combined for 50 points in Sixers win
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 25, 2021
The 76ers are also spread thin in the backcourt, with Shake Milton still not ready to return from an ankle injury, while Grant Riller is out after a recent knee surgery to repair a meniscus.
Losing Embiid will definitely hamper Philadelphia’s early season output, as they’re 10th in the league in scoring at 113.7 points a game, while shooting 48.5% from the field, which ranks fifth in the NBA.
Still can’t believe the #mavs gave up Seth Curry for Josh Richardson.
— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) October 25, 2021
Their big man dominating inside has left lots of good looks around the perimeter, and the Sixers are making teams pay, hitting at a 43.1% clip, second only to the Lakers in shooting from beyond the arc.
The beneficiary against OKC was Seth Curry, who led the team in scoring with 28, on a crisp 7-for-10 mark from deep.
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Knicks Seek Bounce Back
It was an exhilarating start for New York, going to double-overtime to bounce the Celtics in their opener, before heading to Orlando and whipping the Magic 121-96.
The momentum stalled back at home, however, as the Magic took the second half of the home-and-home set 110-104.
🗣 BANG! EVAN FOURNIER FROM DOWNTOWN. pic.twitter.com/7QkGlQNJkN
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) October 21, 2021
Evan Fournier, who had been so prominent in their two wins, averaging 25 points, three assists and three steals, could only muster eight points on 3-for-11 shooting in their first loss of the year.
The constant continues to be Julius Randle, who posted this second 30+ point game of the year, and his second straight double-double.
Julius Randle PERCOLATING pic.twitter.com/hmIA743wGT
— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) October 23, 2021
But New York couldn’t overcome their spotty outside shooting, going just 13-for-48 against Orlando, a subpar 27.1% clip.
One bright spot was the work of backup Derrick Rose, who put up 23 points, fie rebounds, three dimes and two steals, but starting point Kemba Walker has yet to find his groove.
He’s averaging just 10.3 points on eight field goal attempts.
What’s the Best Bet?
With so much uncertainty, it’s hard to pick the 76ers in this one.
Perhaps any other Philly injury can be absorbed, but Embiid is the fulcrum of everything the Sixers are trying to run. He also anchors a defense that’s currently in 10th spot in points allowed at 104.7.
the Australian dish 🍝 @MatisseThybulle | @JoelEmbiid pic.twitter.com/v79Ps1coVE
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 24, 2021
The Knicks, meanwhile, haven’t yet reached the Tom Thiboudeau-level of defensive prowess, but the addition of Fournier, Walker and the emergence of third-year man RJ Barrett has propped up an offense that looked stagnant at times last year.
Look at that KNICKS DEFENSE pic.twitter.com/KKXnWdnlPS
— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) October 22, 2021
New York is currently eighth in offensive rating, while posting a third-best 121 points per game. They lead the NBA with an average of 49 three-point attempts per game, hitting at a 36.7% clip (13th).
It’s a level the 76ers won’t be able to match.
The Pick: Knicks -1 (-112)