- The Los Angeles Clippers look to extend their home winning streak on Mother’s Day against New York as 8.5-point favorites (ESPN, 3:30 pm EST)
- Julius Randle is looking to shake off back-to-back subpar performances, but faces Kawhi Leonard, who is back to playing at a high level following a recent foot injury
- Read below for a breakdown and pick on the game
The New York Knicks were one of the NBA’s hottest teams in the month of April, but have lost their last two in the midst of a grueling six-game west coast swing.
They take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday afternoon in the first of two games in three days at the Staples Center. After the Clippers lost three of four games on a recent road trip of their own, they have come back with consecutive wins against the Raptors and Lakers at home. Los Angeles is a 8.5-point favorite this afternoon, and covered as 9.5-point favorites against the Knicks in their earlier meeting this season, 129-115, at the end of January.
Knicks vs Clippers Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline on DraftKings||Total|
|New York Knicks||+8.5 (-109)||+300||O 216.5 (-108)|
|Los Angeles Clippers||-8.5 (-113)||-385||U 216.5 (-113)|
Odds as of May 9th at 8:45 am EST
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Premier Showdown Between Leonard and Randle
Kawhi Leonard looks like he’s returned to form after dealing with a foot injury that kept him out of the lineup for much of April. Now, he’ll be the top option to defend New York’s Julius Randle, who has scored 24 points or more in four of his last five games.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) May 7, 2021
When the two last met, Leonard finished with 28 points and Randle put up 27. The difference this time around is Randle hit four-of-five three-point attempts in that game, but has only made one-of-ten in his last two games. Randle might be better served to try and get his points down low this afternoon, where the Clippers have been a bit more vulnerable defensively.
Superstar status aside, Leonard has provided the bigger overall boost to his team while on the floor in recent games. Over his last two, he has finished with plus-minus marks of +20 and +21, meanwhile, Randle has been -21 and -23 in his last two outings. Randle has still found ways to score, but he hasn’t been consistently efficient on this road trip and will face a daunting defensive matchup today.
New York Slowed by Quickley’s Injury
The Knicks and Clippers both rank among the bottom of all teams in pace of play, and New York will be likely see even fewer possessions with Immanuel Quickley for a second straight game.
Derrick Rose in his bag as usual:
14 PTS – 5 AST – 6/8 FG in the first half 🌹 pic.twitter.com/X9IGrc4fr2
— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) May 8, 2021
Quickley is dealing with knee and ankle injuries that have slowed him down and caused him to miss New York’s last game against Phoenix. This season, Quickley has provided a spark off the bench for the Knicks and has been a pain for opposing defenses with his squirrelly ball-handling and speed in transition. Derrick Rose has been less productive over his last two games than usual, but should continue to play an expanded role in Quickley’s absence this afternoon.
The Knicks have been slightly more reliant on their three-point shooting while Quickley has dealt with his ailments, and Rose has shot well above his career average from distance this year. Both teams have been among the league’s best at defending threes this season, but New York has slipped recently, and opponents have scored an average of 46 points on 38% shooting from beyond the arc in their last three games.
Everything Points Clippers
The Knicks have proven to be a formidable team out of the Eastern Conference, but they might want to make their Mother’s Day calls before tip-off today.
Los Angeles is 3-1 outright since the All-Star Break when they’ve had two days off ahead of a game, and are 21-14 against the spread at home this season. New York has been good ATS with a day’s rest, but LA is 9-5 overall when more rested than its opponent and come in as the healthier side at home. The Knicks should be a better play in two days when they take on the Lakers before wrapping up this road trip, but don’t look to be in a good spot today.
The Knicks have been a better ATS team this season, so the under of 216.5 points could be an attractive alternative to those not confident in the Clippers at -8.5. Los Angeles has finished under or pushed on the total in each of its last five games, but New York is playing through a dip right now and the Clipper should capitalize.
The Pick: Clippers -8.5 (-113)
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