Sorry, I've been away! But I am back with a preview! The Knicks have been doing so well lately—to the point where we expect the Knicks to win games? That felt so weird to write, but I can certainly get used to it.
Tonight, the Knicks will be in Atlanta to play the first game of a back-to-back. I felt confident the Knicks would beat Toronto on Wednesday, and I feel absolutely confident they’ll hand the 3-15 Hawks their fourth-straight loss tonight.
Before we jump to our contenders, a history lesson:
Per Elias, the Knicks’ 28-0 run in 3rd quarter tonight was the biggest run by a team since the Cavaliers had a 29-0 run against the Bucks in December 2009.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 23, 2017
To help us get a better sense of the 2017-18 Hawks, here’s Brad Rowland from SBNation Hawks’ site Peachtree Hoops!
The Atlanta Hawks are… struggling. That was kind of the play coming into the season when a new front office arrived, let Paul Millsap walk for nothing (farewell, old friend) and flipped Dwight Howard for a less than spectacular package. In the same breath, it has probably been worse than anyone imagined.
In short, the Hawks have the worst record in the NBA at the moment and they’ve certainly earned it. Atlanta does have a comical, 46-point win over the hapless Kings but, for the most part, the script has been similar on a nightly basis. The Hawks hang around for 3 or 3.5 quarters before faltering down the stretch and, ironically, that exact template was followed perfectly in the team’s last loss to the Clippers.
The big reason for the ugly performance is that the roster is bad. That isn’t an indictment of the current front office given that they are pretty clearly tanking with an eye toward the future but all of the intriguing pieces are young and unproven outside of Dewayne Dedmon. The “best” player on an NBA team being Dennis Schröder also probably isn’t the greatest idea when a club is trying to win and, with all due respect to a young guard that is averaging 20 and 7, that kind of says it all.
Can the Hawks beat the Knicks at home? Absolutely. Will they? Um, probably not? Oh, and this is a pretty obvious spot for Tim Hardaway Jr. to absolutely explode after Atlanta let his offer sheet lapse, allowing him to flee for New York.
The part about hanging around until absolutely collapsing sounds very much like this hyperlink.
Thank you, Brad! Brad can be followed @BTRowland. Make sure to send him major good vibes tomorrow as his (and THJ’s) Michigan Wolverines host their rivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes!
The Knicks are pretty good. As Brad said, Tim Hardaway Jr. might angry react his way to a second straight huge game after his 38/6/7 gem against Toronto yesterday.
Looking up and down the Hawks’ starting lineup, the only spot that favours the Hawks is point guard, and I’m not even sure it matters. Porzingis, Lee, THJ, and Kanter should have no trouble handling what Atlanta sends out there. Also, there’s this:
Here’s Dwane Casey’s full quote on Enes Kanter, who he called an “old-school Rodman.” — pic.twitter.com/9xjKAjUXj8— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 23, 2017
Dennis Rodman!! That’s high praise, and I think we’ve been seeing a lot of that good stuff from him in these past few days. All we can hope for is some garbage time so that the Knicks can give guys like Damyean Dotson and Willie Hernangomez a little run.
Outside of Joakim Noah, there doesn’t seem to be any injury stuff to report as of this point.
Game tips at 7:30 on MSG! And now you’re ready for Knicks-Hawks!!