Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be out on Saturday against the Knicks with a quad contusion, leaving the Thunder shorthanded. (Photo by Carrie Giordano/Icon Sportswire)
- New York visits OKC on Saturday, March 13th
- The Knicks will be looking to bounce back from a blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, while the Thunder are coming off an impressive win over the Dallas Mavericks
- Get our odds, preview, and best bet for this contest below
The New York Knicks are seeking their first win of the second-half as they continue their four-game road trip on Saturday, March 13th against the Oklahoma City Thunder, tip-off 2 PM EST.
NY, who is currently 19-19, losing to the Bucks on Thursday night by a score of 134-101. OKC on the other hand pulled off an impressive victory over the Luka Doncic-less Mavs and head into this meeting on a two-game win streak. However, the storyline for the Thunder on Saturday will be the absence of star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has been ruled out with a quad contusion.
Oklahoma City already met with the Knicks earlier this season, beating them 101-89.
Knicks vs Thunder Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total Points at Fanduel|
|NY Knicks||-5 (-110)||-210||TBD|
|OKC Thunder||+5 (-110)||+176||TBD|
Odds taken Mar. 12th at Fanduel
New York Looking to Get Back Into a Rhythm
The Knicks’ first contest after the All-Star break was never expected to be easy, but they certainly didn’t put up any type of fight against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. NY lost by 33 points, much in part to being destroyed inside. Milwaukee outscored Tom Thibodeau’s team 52-32 in the paint, while also shooting almost 50% from downtown.
Another clear reason the Knicks struggled was the lack of production from Julius Randle. Fresh off his first All-Star appearance last Sunday, the former Laker had just seven points in 28 minutes of action. The rest of the rotation did their part with RJ Barrett dropping 22 and Immanuel Quickley collecting 15 points, but without the engine of the offense showing up, it was an uphill battle.
Despite the cold night, Randle has been a budding superstar for the Knicks this season. He’s one of the vital reasons they’re actually in the playoff picture, currently putting up career highs of 22.8 points, 11 boards, and 5.6 assists.
Another clear silver lining for this team in 2020/21 has been their outstanding defense. New York is currently 4th in the association with a 109.5 defensive rating. Mitchell Robinson isn’t too far off a return as well, who is one of their most dominant players on the glass.
Can Thunder Grind Out a Win Without SGA?
Oklahoma City will have it tough in this contest without Gilgeous-Alexander. But that’s not the only starter they’ll be missing. Darius Bazley is also a no-go for his second straight game with a shoulder injury, leaving the Thunder’s first unit severely depleted.
However, there will be a sense of confidence after a dominant performance on Thursday. OKC took full advantage of Luka Doncic and Kristap Porzingis’ absences, destroying Rick Carlisle’s team in the paint. They collected 50 points inside and also out-rebounded the Mavs 55-36.
SGA had another banner night, erupting for 32 points. Veteran big man Al Horford also showed out, collecting 21 and grabbing nine boards. One player who has proven to be a key piece in the rotation this season for the Thunder has been Luguentz Dort. The second-year guard has started 36 games and complimented Gilgeous-Alexander nicely in the backcourt with averages of 12.4 points and 3.5 rebounds.
32 points, 9/9 from the line.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) March 12, 2021
Dort will definitely need to rise to the occasion on Saturday without SGA. All in all, though, it’s been a promising year for an OKC team that is supposedly in a rebuild. They’re currently 16-21 and just 3.5 games out of a playoff spot. If the Thunder pull off another victory on Saturday, it would match their longest unbeaten run of the campaign.
Thibodeau’s squad has been brilliant lately ATS, going 9-4 in their last 13 games. As ATS favorites, the Knicks have a 7-4 record and will be looking to capitalize against an OKC team missing their best player on Saturday.
The Thunder meanwhile, are just 7-10 ATS on home court, and without Gilgeous-Alexander, it’s going to be a tall task here. New York will be extra motivated after such a terrible loss as well. I think you’ll see the visitors bounce back and grab a convincing victory on the road.
Also, expect the under to be hit because both these teams are 27th and 29th in the NBA in points per game. With this taken into consideration, it should be a low-scoring affair.
Pick: NY Knicks +5 (-110)
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.