Handicapping the NBA: The Knicks are a Trainwreck, but Joakim Noah is Honest
Handicapping the NBA: The Knicks are a Trainwreck, but Joakim Noah is Honest

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Joakim Noah took more responsibility for his mistake than anybody in Knicks upper management has done...possibly ever? Joakim Noah was suspended 20 games by the NBA after "unknowingly taking an over-the-counter supplement, which is currently banned by the league but would no longer be punished under the next season's new collective bargaining agreement."

Noah's response:

"I COULD BEAT MICHAEL JORDAN 1-on-1"

Wait, sorry, that was LaVar Ball.

Noah's actual response:

"I wanted to do something to help myself, help my body and like I said it backfired on me," Noah said. "I tried to take the right measures when I was taking the supplements and it wasn't enough."

See. Was that so hard? Too often NBA players, coaches, managers and even media members just don't want to hold themselves accountable. Granted, it would be a lot easier for some of these individuals if they had a $72 million contract.

Nice job, Knicks.

Last week: 2-1 (25-22-1)

The Celtics covered the spread by one point, but also went over by 0.5 point (final score 109-100 - O/U was 208.5). That's the meanest push since Scar pushed Mufasa into the stampede.

Bucks at Celtics (-8)

With the five seed up for grabs and the highest potential seed available for the Bucks ahead of the playoffs, Milwaukee will head into a red-hot Boston team that has gone 8-2 over their last 10 games and is the current one-seed in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for the Bucks, they are playing the second game of a back-to-back against arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has put together five straight games scoring at least 20 points, while Malcolm Brogdon continues to impress in his role. Middleton was battling illness ahead of the 118-108 win over the Hornets on Tuesday, but seeing that he played 34 minutes the illness did not seem to have too much of an effect.

While all of this impressive and the second half surge behind the Greek Freak will be one of the more fun storylines of the playoffs, the Celtics are putting out a well rested squad on their home court.

My gut says to take the Bucks, but the head says go with Celtics.

The pick: Celtics (-8)

Hornets at Raptors (-6.5)

DeMarre Carroll was not signed by the Raptors to be a force on the offensive end, but over his last 17 games he has scored 30 points seven times. With Kyle Lowry sidelined until the playoffs, the Raptors have found a breakout scorer in Carroll, who is also touted for his defensive presence.

The Hornets are also historically bad underdogs, represented by their 2-21 record when they are getting points. Let's add that they lost by 10 on their home court to the Bucks on Tuesday, and this trip north of the border is pointing towards being very unkind to Kemba Walker and company.

The Pick: Raptors -6.5

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Rubin
Jason Rubin is a sports producer a part of the ESPN social content team where he runs point on the ESPN MMA Show on Snapchat. He had one good season betting the NBA and contributed to Rotowire's NBA content. Previously he broadcasted for TYTSports and contributed to multiple platforms along the way. He is a Carmelo Anthony apologist.
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