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Game day preview: Knicks vs. Hawks- 10/17/18

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Just the tip off.

Will. You. Look at these two! I love them.

The day has finally arrived! Season opener, meet home opener. Home, season. As we embark on a brand new year together, let us rejoice. Basketball back! Knicks back! Tonight’s game is against a team in a similar situation to the Knicks. Atlanta has been trying to get young and athletic and is using the draft to find a star and build out a team. Both teams also have new coaches looking to set strong cultures.

David Fizdale and Lloyd Pierce actually go way back. Having played against one another in college. Pierce with Steve Nash at Santa Clara! Fizdale for the mondo major University of San Diego Toreros.

Let’s get down to business.

Starting Lineups

Key Matchup

Trying to contain Trae Young will be the biggest factor. Checking him all the way up the floor and not giving him any space to fire one up. He can very seriously pull up as soon as he crosses half court and without notice.

So get up on him! Or get got by him.

Of course, you can’t let him beat you off the dribble either. An incredible passer, his teammates will be engaged cutters revolving around him. Ideally you want Ntilikina on Young but the mismatch for Trey Burke on Taurean Prince or Kent Bazemore could prove troublesome.

See what I mean? If Burke does get the assignment, his best bet is to out-offense Young. That too could be severely bad when considering Trey shoots 5-10’ inside the three-point line whereas Trae shoots 5-10’ behind the three-point line.

Key Reserves

New York - Kevin Knox started every pre-season game but struggled to find a rhythm and adjust to the speed of the NBA. The Knicks rotation is still very much in flux and coach David Fizdale seems to have carte blanche to run it however he sees fit. Knox’s ability to get out in transition and stretch the floor will be paramount as soon as he can get on track.

Atlanta - Welcome back to the Garden our old friend, Jeremy Lin! After a very solid preseason, Lin looks to be in good shape and hoping for a productive season. Luckily for the Knicks, Atlanta will be missing possibly their best player right now in John Collins as well as Dewayne Dedmon and Justin Anderson.

Prediction

This is one of the few teams on the schedule that the Knicks should be able to beat. They’re at home, they have the depth and Tim Hardaway might want to show his old team that he made the right decision by signing with his older team.

Knicks by 9.