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Game Preview: Knicks at Hawks- 1/4/2021

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If war knocks on the door, let it go oh so off

Walt Frazier Shooting Ball

Still on the move, New York traveled to Atlanta and will take on the Hawks before heading home for a pair of games. Then, as the first full month of basketball draws to a close, they’ll be taking their inaugural west coast trip. That could end up being the defining run of games for what this team is all about. They’ll need to get (and stay) healthy by then and someone will have to establish themselves as the go-to player off the bench.

There are some promising prospects with Alec Burks and Austin Rivers both showing signs of life. If not one of those guys it may be on the coach to find and prop up a hot hand night by night. But if Julius Randle misses any time, this all goes sideways in a hurry.

Pete Maravich Dribbling Basketball
Clyde and Pistol

Projected Starters

Probably rolling nine deep again for the Knicks. The injured list is the same as it was Saturday in Indiana. The only really potential for change is with Kevin Knox who has a busted hand and a wonky knee but is considered day-to-day and probable.

Elfrid Payton vs. Trae Young

Reggie Bullock vs. Cam Reddish

RJ Barrett vs. De’Andre Hunter

Julius Randle vs. John Collins

Mitchell Robinson vs. Clint Capela

The Hawks are missing a grip of players also. Basically all of their new acquisitions plus Kevin Huerter. Rookie Onyeka Okongwu and free agents Danilo Gallinari, Tony Snell and Rajon Rondo are all listed as out. So get ready for these scrumptious Brandon Goodwin minutes. I feel like that bodes well for the Knicks bench brigade.

St. Louis Hawks v New York Knicks
Paul Silas (Saint Louis Hawks) and Cazzie Russell

Keys & Predictions

Well it doesn’t look like RJ Barrett is playing in Indiana tonight, so I have sincere doubts about his ability to make any shots. I think we should expect a solid 0-6 from deep and 2-18 overall. Atlanta is known for it’s bustling night life, so it would seem logical that RJ can get some shots up after the game in order to get ready for a big game in the next one against Utah.

Look for Julius Randle to rumble with John Collins and give him more physical punishment than he really can handle. The big question is obviously can they keep Trae Young for going mega off and giving the Knicks a barrage of buckets.

Knicks by -4

Warm Up Music

The river runs deep. Here’s a track with Scienz Of Life and MF DOOM on Atlanta based, NY-centric label Sub Verse.