Odds and Expert Picks for Pacers at Knicks Game 7 and Timberwolves at Nuggets Game 7


NBA fans are in for a real treat on Sunday with two Game 7s. The New York Knicks host the Indiana Pacers in the afternoon, then the Denver Nuggets host the Minnesota Timberwolves in prime time.

These two series were very different. The home team has won every game in the New York-Indiana series, making it look like the Knicks should have a significant advantage on Sunday. The home team has only won twice in the Denver-Minnesota series, although it has won the last two games.

The home team is favored in both Game 7s, but neither is a significant favorite. Will there be an upset in one or both of these matches?

Here’s a look at the storylines, odds and staff picks for both Game 7s on Sunday.

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No. 6 Indiana Pacers vs. No. 2 New York Knicks

How to watch: 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Series tied 3-3

For all the talk about momentum shifts or one team finding another, this series has so far been all about the field. The Knicks won two close games at home to start the series, but Indiana then evened things up at home, including a total blowout in Game 4.

Did this mean Indiana was coming back and the Knicks’ injuries were finally taking their toll? Not because New York won Game 5 by 30 at home.

Did this mean Indiana was done and the Knicks were going to finish the series? Indiana won Game 6 by 13 at home and led by double digits throughout the fourth quarter.

We now head into Game 7 where the Knicks are favored by a few points and the question marks surrounding this playoff team are still there. New York is without Julius Randle (for the entire playoffs), Bojan Bogdanović (who has been out since Game 4 of the first round), Mitchell Robinson (who last played in Game 1 of this series) and OG Anunoby (who last played in Game 2 of this series). Josh Hart is the latest addition to the injured list after leaving Game 6 with “abdominal pain.”

A short bench isn’t much of an issue for coach Tom Thibodeau, who doesn’t play much off his bench as it is, but at some point the missing talent should catch up to New York, at least in theory. As New York continues to survive with more and more players falling, it almost feels like this series is more about Indiana than New York. Jalen Brunson has been outstanding in the playoffs and as long as he is healthy, the Knicks appear to be able to absorb these injuries. Will it be one victory too many or another miraculous victory for the Knicks led by Brunson?

Indiana, meanwhile, is 1-5 on the road in the postseason. The Pacers have to figure out how to win on the road, and they have to find it in a Game 7 in front of a Madison Square Garden crowd that will be ready to rock.

Expert Picks for Pacers at Knicks

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No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves vs. No. 2 Denver Nuggets

How to watch: 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Series tied 3-3

Just when it looked like the Nuggets had figured out how to beat Minnesota, the Timberwolves delivered the biggest blowout of the playoffs. Minnesota won Game 6 by 45 points, although much of that margin of victory came after the Nuggets pulled their starters for the final 10 minutes.

For a series that lasts seven games, it has had plenty of blowouts. In addition to Thursday’s battles, the Timberwolves won Game 2 by 26. Denver won Game 3 by 27 and Game 5 by 15. That probably makes this game a little more unpredictable.

Minnesota has won two of three games in Denver, which should help alleviate any fear factor. However, this is the first Game 7 of Anthony Edwards’ career. The same goes for Karl-Anthony Towns. Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley Jr., returning from injury in Game 6, played together for Utah in a Game 7 in 2020 against the Nuggets, but it was in an empty arena in the bubble. The atmosphere will be different to say the least on Sunday.

The Nuggets won this Game 7 in 2020, and another in the next round. Denver also had two Game 7s in 2019, beating the Spurs in the first round and losing to Portland in the second round. Nikola Jokić has averaged 24 points per game in four career Game 7s. Jamal Murray is a bit higher at 24.3 points per game in Game 7s, including a 40-point effort against the Clippers in the second round in the bubble.

Minnesota’s last Game 7 was in 2004, when MVP Kevin Garnett guided the Timberwolves to the conference finals for the first and only time. Garnett had 32 points, 21 rebounds, five blocks and four steals in one of the highest-scoring performances in Timberwolves history. Edwards may have to do something like that for Minnesota to get a win in Denver.

Expert Picks for Timberwolves at Nuggets

Ranking of choices

More NBA Playoff coverage

Tyrese Haliburton always wanted that pressure, now he’ll finally get it in Game 7

How Pascal Siakam rose to fame as the Pacers did the little things to force Game 7 against the Knicks

Knicks lose Josh Hart in Game 6 loss: ‘I guess you can just add him to the list’

How a different Karl-Anthony Towns made all the difference for the Timberwolves in Game 6

Why the Timberwolves’ pregame movie session, music and all, was the Nuggets’ downfall in Game 6

Nuggets have no answers for Timberwolves in historic Game 6 loss: ‘They destroyed us’

(Jalen Brunson Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images)


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