After both teams made significant roster moves ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, the Knicks and Mavericks meet in the first of two nationally-televised games tonight.
New York acquired Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic from the Detroit Pistons, while Dallas traded for big men Daniel Gafford and PJ Washington ahead of the 3 PM ET deadline.
Between players just traded and a lenghty injury list, it is unclear exactly who will suit up for the Knicks tonight. All-Star guard Jalen Brunson tweaked his ankle on Tuesday and is questionable, while starters Julius Randle and OG Anunoby remain out.
For Dallas, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Iriving are both listed as questionable, although the pair both played 40+ minutes and scored 35+ points in the Mavs' win over the Nets on Tuesday.
|Where is Mavericks vs. Knicks?
|Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
|When is Mavericks vs. Knicks?
|7:30 PM ET on Thursday, February 8th
|Mavericks vs. Knicks TV channel
Mavericks -3.5 (-110)
Things were looking up for the Knicks as they owned the NBA’s longest win streak at nine in a row last week, but injuries have become a big problem for New York.
It was just over a week ago that Julius Randle injured his shoulder and would be ruled out for several weeks, and on Tuesday night, Jalen Brunson suffered an ankle injury and the severity of it is unknown.
The Knicks stated that Brunson avoided a serious injury and they are unsure when he will be able to return to the court. Without their best two players, the Knicks are in trouble.
The Mavericks are also dealing with a slew of injuries to their starting rotation, but the good news for Dallas is that both Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are expected to play.
The Mavs are coming off a two-game sweep in a back-to-back earlier this week against the 76ers and Nets, and both Doncic and Irving scored at least 30 points in the second leg of the back-to-back.
The two stars have slowly started to gel, and that’s a dangerous thought for other teams. With the Mavs on a roll and the Knicks banged up, there’s a lot of value on the visitors at Madison Square Garden.
Luka Doncic over 3.5 three-pointers made (-135)
The face of the franchise has been on fire from deep recently. Doncic has made at least four three-pointers in three straight games and is averaging over 10 shots from deep in February.
If he continues to pull up from the perimeter at least nine or 10 times per game, Doncic has an excellent chance at making at least four shots from behind the arc. Plus, the Knicks are in the middle of the pack when it comes to defending three-pointers.
As for the Mavericks duo, Irving is shooting the fewest three-pointers per game since he was on the Celtics.
He is relying more on mid-range shots and driving to the basket, and that opens the perimeter for Luka. It wouldn’t be surprising if Doncic has at least four three-pointers by the end of the third quarter.
C Dereck Lively II (nose) - Out
G Dante Exum (knee) - Out
PG Luka Doncic (nose) - Probable
PF Maxi Kleber (toe) - Questionable
PG Kyrie Irving (thumb) - Probable
C Jericho Sims (illness) - Questionable
SF OG Anunoby (elbow) - Out
PG Jalen Brunson (ankle) - Questionable
PF Julius Randle (shoulder) - Out
With Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in the backcourt, the Mavericks average the 10th most points per game at 118.2.
The Knicks aren’t too far behind as they average 115.2, so it’s not surprising to see the spread of the game be just a bucket or two.
However, one part these teams are very different in is crashing the boards. The Knicks rank 1st in the NBA in rebounding percentage at 53.2%, but the Mavericks lack a strong presence in the paint, so they are getting just 47.6% of rebounds - the 2nd worst rate in the league.
Dallas play at the eighth-fastest pace and run isolation plays the second-most often of any NBA team. They also pull up to shoot more than any other team, averaging 27.7 such attempts per game.
The Knicks play at the league's second-slowest pace and coach Tom Thibodeau has his players drive to the hoop the fifth-most times per game - mostly through Brunson and Randle. Thibodeau's guys are also physical: New York commits the third-most fouls per game, but Dallas ranks 26th in free throw percentage.
It's a clash of styles and the team that controls the pace could have a better chance at winning.
As you can see by the spread of this game, oddsmakers believe that the Mavericks and Knicks are equally talented. That’s also evident by the results of the last 10 head-to-head matchups between these teams.
|Dallas Mavericks wins
|New York Knicks wins
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.