Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) hangs from the rim after his dunk during the second half of an NBA basketball game next to Washington Wizards forward Moritz Wagner (21) and forward Troy Brown Jr. (6) , Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) hangs from the rim after his dunk during the second half of an NBA basketball game next to Washington Wizards forward Moritz Wagner (21) and forward Troy Brown Jr. (6) , Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)|Associated Press
NBA

The Thunder roll into MSG to face the Knicks; plus Greg Frank picks Bucks vs Lakers. Is it a LeBron vs Giannis finals preview?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

1-0 Thursday, 104-101-2 overall.

Thunder (-7) @ Knicks (218.5)

Pick: Thunder -7

I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me the New York Knicks have one of the 10 best ATS records in the NBA with a little more than one month left in the regular season. However, with the Knicks at 33-28-1 against the number after 62 games, only eight NBA teams have been a better bet this season. New York has covered in three straight games as well, but I’m ready to draw the line in the sand. One of those teams with a better ATS record than New York in 2019-2020 is its opponent tonight, the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, the Thunder have failed to cover in five straight games. That’s not stopping us from laying the lumber though. As a matter of fact, it’s part of the reason we like Oklahoma City even more. A team that has had the kind of success the Thunder have had against the number isn’t going to lose five in a row ATS very often. After getting blown out by Milwaukee and the Clippers in back-to-back games, the Thunder responded with a seven-point victory on Wednesday against Detroit. We think they’ll have reason to win by double digits tonight and rebuild their confidence heading into the playoffs.

Bucks (+2) @ Lakers (228.5)

Pick: Lakers -2

While Giannis Antetokounmpo is basically a lock to win his second straight MVP award, don’t you think LeBron James would like to send a message tonight that it’s still his league? After the king’s first season in the City of Angels went south quickly, LeBron has the Lakers poised to be top seed in the Western Conference playoffs and this year might be his best chance to win a title with his third different team. Perhaps this is an NBA Finals preview, but even if it is not, we thoroughly expect LeBron and the Lakers to treat it as such. For as dominant as the Bucks have been throughout most of the regular season, they’ve been a tricky team to get a read on lately. Milwaukee won by 19 in its last game against Indiana. The Bucks got clobbered on Monday in Miami. They went through the motions in a 93-85 victory recently against Charlotte and did not cover. We mentioned their blowout win over the Thunder above and the Bucks went to overtime against a lottery team in the Wizards less than two weeks ago. We don’t want to trust them opening up a road trip tonight.

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