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N.Y. Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers Thursday NBA Preview & Free Pick

Knicks vs Blazers NBA Handicapping

Now what?

Wasn’t that long ago that the Knicks were riding high, the Garden rocking again. Close your eyes, listen to the crowd noise and you could swear that it was Walt Frazier and Willis Reed out there on the court again.

New York Knicks (38-24) at Portland Trail Blazers (29-34)
Thursday, March 14
Rose Garden, Portland
10:30 p.m. EST

Spread – Blazers -3.5 at BetOnline
Total – 194.5

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Now? Not so much.

The banged-up Knicks are starting to leak oil badly. Three losses in four games, their lead in the Atlantic Division down to a game and a half over the Nets. Butt-ugly losses in Golden State (92-63) and Denver (117-94) to start a 5-game West Coast road swing.

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And while the rest of the Knicks soldier on, starting with tonight’s TNT nightcap at Portland, franchise cornerstone Carmelo Anthony will be back in the Big Apple, having an ailing knee checked out.

Anthony was able to go only 21 minutes last night in Denver, and they weren’t good ones – 9 points on 3-for-12 shooting, and 3 turnovers.

The rest of the Knicks weren’t much better, and the result was a somewhat-predictable 24-point loss on a court where few visiting teams enjoy much success.

An army of doctors will no doubt check out Anthony’s bum knee, and the team’s high scorer will almost certainly miss games in Los Angeles (Clippers) and Utah before the Knicks troop home and the schedule eases up a bit. As to how much Anthony will be able to contribute the rest of the way, the forward was non-committal last night: [ad-6571516]

“I have no idea,” Anthony said. “At this point it’s just a matter of getting this [draining fluid] done and see what happens from there. I want to get to the bottom of this quick.”

As if dealing with Anthony’s issues aren’t enough, the Knicks may have dodged a large-sized bullet last night when center Tyson Chandler crumpled to the floor. Chandler missed most of the game after suffering a knee injury in the second period, but the big guy says he most likely will be OK.

He was able to leave the arena under his own power.

Add it all up and it’s a queasy time for the Knicks, who desperately want to win the division and gather no worse than a 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

First things first, though. Get through this West Coast trip from hell, get home, get everyone healthy and get back on track for the final month of the season.

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No line on this one yet due to the injury situation, but if Chandler is held out, it’s difficult to find a reasonable path to victory for the Knicks.

Portland is still playing hard and has a puncher’s chance at back-dooring its way into the playoffs, though that’s unlikely unless the Blazers can win 65 percent of their games from here on out.

PORTLAND 112, KNICKS 94.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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