NBA tips: Back the Celtics and Knicks in our Friday 4-fold
New York's home form makes them the team to back against the struggling Hawks, while Boston should bounce back against the Magic.
New York Knicks to beat Atlanta Hawks –
The Knicks have won seven of their last 10 games, and beat the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors in their only two fixtures this week.
They should have no problem making it three victories in a row against the Hawks, who have lost three successive games and eight of their last 10.
Atlanta have lost six of their seven home games this season, and rank inside the NBA’s bottom 10 in both offensive and defensive rating.
Boston Celtics (-8.5) to beat Orlando Magic –
The Celtics’ 16-game winning streak finally came to an end against the Miami Heat last time out, but they should get back on track by crushing the Magic.
Orlando are on a six-game losing run in which they’ve averaged just 100 points, and they now take on the league’s best defence.
Boston have lost just once at home all season, and have held their opponents to an average of just under 92 points in eight games at the Garden.
Indiana Pacers to beat Toronto Raptors –
The Raptors sit third in the Eastern Conference thanks to their excellent home record, but they’ve been nowhere near as good on the road, with five wins and five defeats to date.
They were beaten comfortably against the Knicks in New York last time out, losing 108-100 after being outscored 41-10 in the third quarter.
Toronto could struggle again in another tricky trip to Indiana to face the Pacers, who have won four successive games, three of which were away from home.
Minnesota Timberwolves to beat Miami Heat –
The Heat have been inconsistent this season with eight wins and nine defeats, so it’s hard to see them following up Wednesday night’s win over the Celtics with another victory on Friday.
Miami are playing a Timberwolves team that have won six of their eight home games this season, including five of their last six.
Minnesota’s offense ranks sixth in the NBA, and they should easily outscore the Heat, who have averaged 95 points over their last six games.