Los Angeles Lakers vs New York Knicks 11/23/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks Matchup Preview (11/23/21)
After a very scrappy game against the Detroit Pistons that saw a near brawl at center court, and two ejections, including LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart, the Los Angeles Lakers will head east to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks. The ejection for LeBron was very uncharacteristic as he has been ejected merely twice. Players, former and current fans, and experts all weighed in on the controversial play where it looks like James threw a backhanded punch at Stewart during a free-throw attempt. James will face a suspension of one game and miss this bout against the Knicks, which could further derail the Lakers’ mediocre start to the 2021-22 season. While the Lakers mounted an improbable comeback to win the game against the Pistons, it still will probably not carry any momentum forward that it otherwise would have if the altercation had not taken place. There is substantial distress in the Lakers organization from all sides right now. Without LeBron, the Lakers could struggle a bit against the Knicks.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks Betting Odds
At every feasible opportunity, I feel like fading the Lakers is the way to go. They are the worst team in the NBA against the spread despite having a .500 overall record. The line opened at the Lakers being +3.5 underdogs on the road against the Knicks but has since jumped to +6. There is an overwhelming amount of belief in the Knicks to cover the spread in this one, and it would have been great to get them in that -3.5 to -5 range, but now I see very little value. I would instead target the under. While the Lakers have been one of the few NBA teams that have hit the over more often than the under so far this season, the Knicks are a team that likes to slow the game down. In New York’s past seven games, the point totals have been less than the current line of 213.5. Target the under or go with the Knicks -6 if you have enough faith in New York.
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Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
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Lakers vs Knicks Betting Picks Video
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Lakers Analysis
The Lakers will again be without LeBron James after he punched Isaiah Stewart in the eye during a free throw against the Detroit Pistons. James has been assessed a one-game suspension, and this game will be the one that he is forced to sit out. Los Angeles has struggled when he has not been on the floor and will need to rally around other guys to grab a road win against a New York Knicks team that still has to hit their stride. Their offensive consistency is one concerning area for the Lakers long-term, or at least until LeBron is fully healthy and really back in the swing of things. Despite being sixth in the NBA in points per game, the Lakers rank 24th in offensive efficiency, just barely above the Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Pelicans. That is not exactly the company you want to surround yourself with when you are supposed to be considered a super team. Additionally, the Lakers have struggled on the defensive end, allowing the second-most points to opponents on sub-par defensive efficiency (19th in the NBA). In the long-term, this is not sustainable if they want to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, with LeBron out of this game still, I doubt this will be the one that turns it all around for them.
New York Knicks Starting Lineup
New York Knicks Analysis
The Knicks started the 2021-22 season extremely hot, winning five of their first six games, but have since been very sporadic, often winning one game but losing the next. For this reason, New York has been rather unpredictable. While the Knicks’ scoring has been better well-distributed this season, they have not shot the ball particularly well. That is not exactly the greatest sign when Kemba Walker is shooting the highest percentage from the field between him, Julius Randle, Evan Fournier, and R.J. Barrett. Still, that could also mean that the Knicks are a candidate for an improved offensive output. There is certainly still an opportunity for progression in those numbers, so all hope is not yet lost.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks Daily Fantasy Picks
Julius Randle followed up his Most Improved Player season with another great 2021-22 season start. This season, Randle has seen a slight regression, averaging 20.4 points, ten rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. Last season, his same averages were 24.1, 10.2, and six. This was to be expected for a few reasons, with the main one being that the New York Knicks are a better all-around team offensively, so he does not need to rely as heavily upon this season. Additionally, his shooting percentages and average minutes played are slightly down. Still, Randle remains a terrific DFS play because he can explode on any given night, much like his last game against the Chicago Bulls, when he had 34 points and ten rebounds.
Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers have been a bit inconsistent at times. Davis has averaged 24.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.3 blocks per game during the 2021-22 season. His 3P% (three-point percentage) has been down this season at just 17.1%, though, which is the lowest he has shot since 2014. Still, Davis has recently put up some monstrous games, dropping 30 or more points in three of his past five games. He has also been a menace on the defensive end, especially in his last game against the Detroit Pistons, when he almost had a 5×5 game with 30 points, ten rebounds, six assists, four steals, and five blocks. Davis remains a great play in DFS but is not always a starter for you since his salary is so high. Against the Knicks, and without LeBron once again, Davis will see heavy usage.