New York Knicks' Julius Randle
Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown, center, defends New York Knicks' Julius Randle, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in New York. The Knicks won 138-134. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


Kyle Barrette

There is a short list of teams that played worse than the Orlando Magic in their opener. There was not much to look forward to for the Magic this season, but their performance in game one could still be considered a letdown. The Knicks played an absolute thriller against Boston that ended in double overtime. Boston missed a lot of easy shots down the stretch and the Knicks capitalized and escaped with the four-point win. These teams are heading in complete opposite directions and it should show in this game.

The Magic opened the season on the road against a Spurs team that is in the beginning phase of a rebuild, but you wouldn’t have known that watching the game. The Magic were outplayed in every phase of the game. Orlando failed to cross the century mark and allowed 123 points against what many have predicted will be just an average Spurs team. The Magic are dealing with a handful of injuries right out of the gate and most of their ideal starting five will be on the sidelines for this one. Fultz, Isaac, and Harris are all going to miss this game and Michael Carter-Williams is questionable. The Magic will have a tough time putting up points in this game against a Knicks team that prides themselves on defense with an improved offense. 

It was a nice win for the Knicks to start the season, but it did show them they have some areas to highlight for improvement. The Knicks were cruising along late in the game and took an 11-point lead into the final minute and ended up letting it all slip away allowing the Celtics to force Overtime. Could fatigue have been a factor? Sure, it was only game one and you could see some of the guys were completely gassed but giving up an 11 point lead in the closing three minutes of a game is inexcusable in any game. The Knicks defense looked good as they went into the game trying to make anyone, but Jayson Tatum beat them, and they were successful as Tatum went 7-30 overall and just 2-15 from three. The improved offense was already leaned on in this game as it was close most of the game as the Knicks were able to pull away late. The Knicks will no doubt look to clean up a few areas and that will not bode well for the shorthanded Magic.

Knicks vs Magic: The Pick
This one will be all Knicks. While double overtime is not necessarily how you want to start the season, with the day off, the Knicks should be ready to go. The Magic are just too short handed here and with how they looked against the Spurs the result should be that and more against the Knicks. Take the Knicks -6.5.

Same Game Parlay: Knicks -6.5 (-110), Knicks team total over 110.5 (-112) and Suggs over 11.5 points (-110) = Parlay Odds +426

The Knicks offense has improved, and the Magic’s defense is bad. Suggs had the most shots for the Magic in their first game shooting 14 shots. He went 3-14 and still finished with 10 points. The Magic will take offense from wherever they can get it, even if he has less attempts, he should still be able to go over this number with a better shooting night. 

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