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The first clash of the night on TNT features the two biggest markets in the NBA: the Knicks will host LeBron James and the Lakers at Madison Square Garden. For the nightcap, we head west to Denver, Colorado, where the top seed in the Western Conference will host the New Orleans Pelicans.
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Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks Game Preview
- Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2023
- Start Time: 7:30 pm ET
- TV Coverage: TNT
- Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
- Participants: Los Angeles Lakers (23-28) vs. New York Knicks (27-24)
- BetMGM Sportsbook Odds: Knicks -2, O/U 233
The Lakers were losers last night at New York’s counterpart, the Brooklyn Nets. LA lost decisively, 121-104, but they were without superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Expect both guys to suit up in this one.
Historically, LeBron has pitched some heroic efforts in the Mecca of basketball. LA comes into this one five games under .500, but this lackluster record can be explained in most part because of a porous 4-10 start to the year, along with several injuries throughout the season. Coming into tonight, LA is 2.5 games behind the Utah Jazz for the ten seed in the western conference standings, so a win here is of utmost importance.
On the other side, the Knicks have clawed their way up the eastern conference standings up to the seven seed and are just one game behind the Miami Heat, which would take them out of the NBA play-in tournament for the time being. The Knicks have won two of their last three, including wins over the Celtics and Cavaliers, two of the NBA’s best.
The trio of lefties: Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and RJ Barrett, each average 20+ points per game and have given opposing teams fits on the offensive end. The Lakers have struggled immensely on the defensive side of the floor – expect points to come easily for both sides at the Garden.
New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets Game Preview
- Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2023
- Kickoff: 10:00 pm ET
- TV Coverage: TNT
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
- Participants: New Orleans Pelicans (26-25) vs. Denver Nuggets (34-16)
- BetMGM Sportsbook Odds: Nuggets -7.5, O/U 233
At the beginning of the year, the Pelicans had the look of the NBA’s surprise team that could ultimately contend in the western conference. They sat comfortably at the two-seed for a significant portion of the season while Zion Williamson was getting comfortable fitting on this squad.
But ever since he went down in the beginning of January, the wheels have fallen off. New Orleans currently holds the longest losing streak in the NBA at eight games, and it won’t get any easier tonight as they prepare to play in one of the most challenging environments in the Association.
Williamson was a game-time decision this past Sunday against Milwaukee, but New Orleans ultimately decided to hold him out a little longer. If you’re betting on this one, follow the status of the Pels’ young star.
Conversely, the Nuggets are the one seed in the west but have slowly declined recently. The Nuggets have lost three of their last four. Their lone win came against the Pelicans in a narrow one-point victory last week. Besides the Grizzlies, who are just two games back of the Nuggets, Denver has been able to create some separation from their counterparts in the west.
This could prove vital down the stretch – Denver’s elevation presents one of the most significant home-court advantages in the sport. The Nuggets are a dominant 22-4 at Ball Arena this year.