Lakers @ Knicks with LeBron and AD likely - Preview, Pick and Props!

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by Oddscrowd Analysts

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers will visit historic Madison Square Garden tonight in what should be a fun game as LeBron tracks down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Randle looks to keep it going. 

LeBron and AD both sat out Monday’s 121-104 thrashing at the hands of the Nets in Brooklyn but, for the first time in a long time, both will be available to play against the Knicks in the Garden tonight. Despite James’ incredible history at the Garden, his last few trips either haven’t happened or ended in disaster. Last season, LeBron’s only trip to the Garden was canceled after he was suspended one game for striking Isaiah Stewart in the face and drawing blood. Davis nearly didn’t play in that game, either, after waking up with the flu. The Lakers fell into a 25-point hole and lost by six, as LeBron (presumably) watched it from his hotel room. He came back with a vengeance in his next game, dropping 39 points at Indiana in an overtime win. Both LeBron and AD missed the 2021 trip to MSG with sprained ankles, and the last time they both suited up in New York was back in Jan. of 2020. LeBron, who thought about sitting that one out due to an illness, had 31 points, five rebounds and five assists in the 30-point blowout win, while Davis scored just five points in 28 minutes before leaving the game with a bruised back. Davis took a nasty spill in that one, landing flat on his back, and didn’t play again until 13 days later. 

LeBron had 33 points, six rebounds and eight assists in a March of 2019 trip to the garden, had 26 points and 11 assists in 2018, and only had 25 points, six rebounds and seven assists in his 2017 trip. In other words, he hasn’t exactly dominated in New York for the last six years or so.

Maybe distance will make the heart grow fonder for James and New York and he can take some comfort in knowing the Knicks are just 12-13 at home, although they do play good defense, ranking eighth in the East by allowing just 112.4 points per game and holding opponents’ shooting to 45.3%. The Lakers are just 10-16 on the road and are still steamed about getting robbed in Boston on Saturday and then getting run out of the gym in Brooklyn on Monday. 

It’s likely that LeBron is fully aware of his struggles at MSG over the past several years and at age 38, he doesn’t have too much longer to change that storyline, especially if he continues to play for a West Coast team. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him light it up tonight for the Knick faithful, especially since he’s scored at least 40 points in four games this month, at least 30 points in another four, and at least 20 in the others. Davis hasn’t done particularly well in the Garden either, but catches a break tonight with Jericho Sims filling in for Mitchell Robinson. Patrick Beverley (knee) has been ruled out tonight, which is good news for Jalen Brunson. 

Be sure to sign up for a free Oddscrowd account and play in our Weekly All Sports Pick'em Contest that starts tonight. 

The Knicks have been getting monster performances from Julius Randle lately and he’s scored at least 32 points in five of his last 12 games and has hit double digits in rebounding in all but two of his 14 January games. Jalen Brunson has scored in double figures in every game this month and is coming off games of 26 and 29 points scored, and is averaging 28.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists in January. RJ Barrett is averaging 22 points this month, and Immanuel Quickley is averaging 15.4 points with solid rebounds, assists and 3-pointers over his last 10 games. And given that the Lakers are the second-worst team in the league at stopping opposing points guards, both Brunson and Quickley should be primed for big things tonight. 

Top performing Oddscrowd bettor Rawluciano likes the Knicks Moneyline tonight, but we’re thinking the stars might align for LeBron and AD tonight and they’ll make up for Saturday’s disaster in Boston, when they had a victory snatched from their arms by the officials when LeBron was clearly fouled on a layup attempt to win the game.

Pick: Lakers +1.5

Prop 1: Jalen Brunson Over 30.5 points and assists 

Prop 2: Immanuel Quickley Over 13.5 points

Prop 3: LeBron James Over 43.5 points, rebounds and assists

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