New York Knicks vs Denver Nuggets: Prediction, Betting Odds & Head-to-Head

How to Watch

Where: Pepsi Centre, Denver, CO

When: 9:00 PM EST, 1 January 2019

How (TV/Radio): MSGN, Altitude | KKSE-FM 92.5/KKSE 950

New York Knicks

Head Coach: David Fizdale {All-Time 59-79 | MEM, NYK}

The New York Knicks are 9-28, poaching them at 14th in the Eastern Conference. While they’ve found some interesting pieces for the present and future, they are a team that is certainly looking the draft and not the NBA Playoffs.

The Knicks are 1-9 in their last ten matches. While they’ve missed their most talented player in Porzingis, it is a surprise to see the Knicks struggle this greatly. Tim Hardaway Jr has been great in his stead, but with the lack of capable options in depth the Knicks are likely going to continue to struggle.

The Nuggets are one of the NBA’s strongest squads. Deliberate, calculated, and talented at every position, the Knicks will have to stop the Jokic passing act in order to corral shooters and cutters to give themselves a chance.

Denver Nuggets

Head Coach: Mike Malone {All-Time 181-205 | SAC, DEN}

The Denver Nuggets are top of the league with a record of 23-11. Just nipping at their heels are the former champion Golden State Warriors, showing any weakness through out the season will send the team hurdling down the ladder.

The Nuggets will be entering this match with the Knicks on a two game win streak against two Western Conference squads the Suns and the Spurs. Both close affairs, the Nuggets will want to take care of business early against the Knicks.

As always, expect Jokic to perform well. There’s maybe only one player on the Knicks that can challenge Jokic physically and Jokic is in such fine form it may not matter at all.

What’s At Stake?

The regular season matchup between the Knicks and the Nuggets is incredibly close. In a total of 87 regular season games, the Knicks lead the all-time series 44-43.

The New York Knicks are near the bottom of the Eastern Conference table. A win would place them half a game behind the Chicago Bulls in thirteenth.

The Nuggets are at the top of the Western Conference. With the Thunder and Warriors on their tail, just 0.5 games behind each, a win would give the Nuggets a one game buffer on their competitors.

Questions to answer

Can the Knicks find some scoring efficiency?

Can the Nuggets defence be penetrated?

We are going to compare the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Knicks are 29th in field-goal percentage

The Knicks certainly have talented scoring players. Hardaway Jr, Kanter, and Knox can all put the ball in the hoop on their own. Even new revelation Alonzo Trier, aka Iso Zo, can get a basket when it’s called upon.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, the NBA plays a team sport but their players love to take the ball for themselves. It doesn’t seem malicious, but more that the Knicks players always fall back into the pattern of playing 1-on-1.

The Nuggets are an excellent defensive team. Should the Knicks try to beat them, they would have to lock down Jokic while chasing shooters like Murray and Harris around screens and behind the arc.

The Nuggets are experts at stopping their opponents game plan

The Nuggets are seventh in defensive rating. They are a team that can pressure the ball and create second chances on the rebounds. The combination of Jokic and Plumlee has created an athletic and sharp front court that won’t step on each others toes on the court.

The Nuggets are also fifth in rebounding percentage, proving that they also make it a point to not allow extra possessions for their opponents. By stopping opponents from generating more opportunities, the Nuggets are able to play their offence at their own pace, knowing teams are likely to be one-and-done against them.

Juan Hernangomez is an unheralded but excellent contributor for the Nuggets. While not a defensive force, he’s tall and long enough to challenge many players on the wing. Not to mention, his offence has been a welcome addition this year which every team must consider.

New York Knicks Roster Notes

G Time Hardaway Jr (illness) was listed as questionable against the Jazz on Saturday, he was eventually deemed fit.

F-C Kristaps Porzingis (knee) will be reevaluated in mid-February.

C Mitchell Robinson (ankle) will be out until the new year as he recovers from injury.

Denver Nuggets Roster Notes

G Will Bartion (hip/core) is making progress, but being evaluated on a weekly basis before he can return from injury.

G Gary Harris (hip) did not play on Friday against the Spurs and will be a game time decision.

F Paul Millsap (foot) is out of a walking boot, and practicing on a limited basis. There is no timeline for his return.

F Michael Porter (back) is yet to have a timetable for his return.

G Isaiah Thomas (hip) is hoping to return to action soon after recovering since the beginning of the season.

F Jared Vanderbilt (foot) is apparently a couple weeks from returning.

Head-to-Head: Enes Kanter vs Nikola Jokic

Enes Kanter

14.7 PPG | 1.9 APG | 10.8 RPG | 0.4 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 1.9 TOV | .551 FG% | .353 3P%

Nikola Jokic

17.8 PPG | 7.4 APG | 9.8 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 3.1 TOV | .489 FG% | .315 3P%

Enes Kanter and Nikola Jokic, two players whose styles seem from an era gone by, but have succeeded in today’s NBA to to their own slight adjustments to their personal style of play. Kanter the scorer, Jokic the distributor, both take up significant roles for their squad.

Enes Kanter came into the league with a bad wrap. Lazy, unathletic, and short-armed, Kanter was never going to last long in the NBA today. He’s turned things around since those questions were asked as Kanter has made himself into an excellent post scorer.

The Denver Nuggets offence runs through Nikola Jokic. Out of the high-post, leading a fast-break, Jokic can play every role for the Nuggets. Against Kanter, he will be facing someone with the strength and knowledge to challenge him.

New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.