You know how athletes like to dedicate plays, game balls, or even entire games to people? I’ve decided I’m going to start dedicating posts.
This first post goes out to my friend Alexei, a long time Knicks season ticket holder with enough loyalty (read that as stupidity) to feel sure that New York would not only bounce back from their dismal performance against the Celtics earlier in the year, but bounce back so strongly that they would get the Martin Luther King Jr. Day victory.
This one’s for you A-Phiz.
Since Alexei and I possibly have a wager on the game, I have decided that I will let you in on my betting strategy when it comes to picking point totals (and therefore spreads and over/unders). What you see below is the written version of what goes through my head before taking a bet with an over-exuberant friend dealing with another painful season of Knicks basketball.
To start, I take an approximation of how many points each team is scoring and allowing per game. In this case, I will the Celtics are averaging 98.8 per while only allowing 87.3. The Knicks are scoring 94.5 while giving up 100.6. So my starting number for the Celtics and Knicks will be 99 and 91, respectively.
Then, I go through the questions below, manipulate the numbers accordingly, and voila, my recipe for Alexei domination.
- Does the crowd boo the coach? (+5 if yes on road, -5 if yes at home)
- Knicks: -5
- Does the team have any potential All-Star Weekend contributors? (+1 for each)
- Celtics: +6 (KG, Pierce, Ray Allen: All-Star Game. House: 3 Point Shoot-Out. Rondo, Davis: Rookie/Sophomore Game)
- Knicks: +2 (Nate Robinson: Dunk Contest. Q-Rich: Old-Timer/WNBA/NBA player shooting contest)
- Are those potential All-Star game contributors part of two-ball or the Old-Timer/WNBA/NBA player shooting contest (-1 for each)
- Knicks: -1 (Q-Rich)
- Is the team on a winning or losing streak? (+1 for each game won, -1 for each lost)
- Celtics: +2
- Knicks: +1
- Does the team have any noteworthy injuries (1-5 depending on severity)
- Celtics: -1 (Rondo’s back/hamstring)
- Knicks: +5 (Marbury’s insanity, er… “ankle”)
- Can any of the players on your team do this? (+1 if “yes,” +2 if on team)
- Knicks: +2
- Does the team’s superstar abuse the padded basket standard on a nightly basis to work himself into a shark-smelling-blood-in-the-water-like frenzy? (+2)
- Celtics: +2
- Does the team currently pay more money to players on other franchises or no longer in the league than players on the current roster? (-5)
- Knicks: -5
- Do people use the team as an unwanted trade location in pranks (look for “Leandro Barbosa’s” name in caps approximately 14 paragraphs down—big ups to Holly MacKenzie and the whole SLAM crew)? (-2 if yes)
- Knicks: -2 (Leandro almost cried—amazing)
After tallying the points, my prediction for the game’s outcome is this: Celtics 108, Knicks 87. Not quite as lop-sided as the 104-59 game in late November but a handy defeat nonetheless.
Beside, I’m not even betting the spread. Life is good in New England these days.