Was any team happier than the New York Knicks to see the rival Brooklyn Nets trade away both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last season? The Knicks had lost nine straight to their city rivals when both were still on the roster, but will now try for a fourth straight win in the series Tuesday night in Brooklyn and as 4.5-point favorites on the SportsLine consensus. Click here for model picks.
The most popular player prop from this game and the No. 2 overall points prop on the five-game board at DraftKings is Knicks guard Jalen Brunson Over 28.5 points (-125). He comes off a 38-point effort Saturday in a win over Toronto, during which he heard "MVP" chants from the Madison Square Garden Crowd. Brunson is all but certainly not winning MVP, but should be named an Eastern Conference All-Star. He's topped 30 points in four straight games at an average of 34.8 per game.
Brunson added nine assists and five rebounds against the Raptors to join current teammate Julius Randle, Carmelo Anthony and Walt Frazier as the only players to record at least 35 points, five rebounds and five assists in back-to-back games in franchise history. The former Maverick Brunson has been playing lights-out since the OG Anunoby trade, averaging 29 points and 8.4 assists in nine games. New York is 8-1 and outscoring opponents by an average of 18 points with Brunson on the court in that span.
The Knicks are plus-124 in the 258 minutes Brunson and Randle have shared the floor since the Anunoby trade. Randle recorded his first triple-double of the season Saturday with 18 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, but he's not taking heavy prop action Tuesday. It was Randle's second time registering at least 15 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists as a Knick, tied with Frazier for the second most such games in franchise history.
"We're flowing out there. I think the chemistry is just unexplainable," Brunson said after Saturday's win. "We're able to flow and feed off of each other. Just trying to make plays while still being aggressive. We've been in a groove, so we've just got to keep doing what we've been doing, keep giving each other confidence and keep moving forward."
New York is without starting center Mitchell Robinson due to a long-term injury. Backup Isaiah Hartenstein has played well since replacing him but is unlikely to go Tuesday with left Achilles tendinopathy. Hartenstein and Anunoby are plus-157 in 310 minutes on the court together since the deal. Anunoby Over 4.5 rebounds (-140) is also taking notable action Tuesday.
Incidentally, there was a trade Tuesday in the NBA that may well affect the Knicks as they are looking for a true point guard – Brunson is more of a shooting guard. Miami traded veteran Kyle Lowry to Charlotte for Terry Rozier. The Hornets will not be keeping Lowry, and already the New York papers are linking him to the Knicks, either via trade or as a free agent if Charlotte buys out of the veteran's contract. Coach Tom Thibodeau is a fan of Lowry and this season called him "one of the elite guards in the league for a long time."
Brooklyn has lost 10 of 12 and had maybe its worst beat of the season Sunday. The Nets were +10 at the Clippers and led 114-103 with about five minutes left. Los Angeles closed the game on a 22-0 run to win by 11.
The lone meeting between these teams so far this season came on Dec. 20 in Brooklyn with the Knicks prevailing 121-102, although Brunson had only 16 points. The was before the Anunoby trade. The Knicks hadn't won at the Barclays Center since Dec. 26, 2019.
Get more out of your SportsLine subscription!
- Picks: NFL | NBA | CFB | CBB
- DFS: Lineup Optimizer | Picks
- Early Edge: YouTube | Apple Podcasts
- Newsletters: SportsLine Daily | Fantasy
Qualifying SportsLine members receive a 30-day free trial of Paramount+ Essential. Sync your account right here.
Share This Story