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Game Preview: Knicks vs Hawks, 4/21/2021

Fowl odor.

Walt Frazier Shooting Ball

Streak don’t matter. Forget about it. We’re walking around like everything is cool. Meanwhile, there is a price on the Knicks head and the Hawks soar into Madison Square well fed after having picked the bones of a severely depleted Magic roster. New York better get plucky, or they’ll be plucked.

One thing that gives me pause tonight is Atlanta’s ruthless board dominance against the Magic. They had a +25 advantage! The Hawks also fired 34 triples but managed to hit a measly 26% of them. The attempts are in line with their averages but they have been shooting 37% on the season. A marked difference; and they still stuffed the Magic’s dragon breath full of Velamints. Yo, Tock.

St. Louis Hawks v New York Knicks

Projected Starters

Even though Alec Burks is in the COVID protocol, I’m not clear if I should expect a nice helping of Frank Ntilikina tonight. One thing we can be pretty sure of is that New York will run bodies at Trae Young and try to chop him up as much as possible. If he’s gonna throw his head back and flail his arms, he damn well better feel the pain in his ribs. Alter his path with a little jolt to the hip. Fuck his stringy hair up. Make him cry hopefully that’ll fog up his glasses.

Elfrid Payton v Trae Young

Reggie Bullock v Bogdan Bogdanovic

RJ Barrett v Kevin Huerter

Julius Randle v John Collins

Nerlens Noel v Clint Capela

The Hawks run out a whole cadre of wing scorer guys. From Young to Lou Williams, with a smattering of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter and then reluctantly all the guys that are hurt or ailing: DeAndre Hunter, Danilo Gallinari, Cam Reddish and Tony Snell all like to let it loose. Even John Collins, Solomon Hill and Brandon Goodwin are liable to get them things in the air if you give ‘em space. So, don’t.

Action During Game Between Knicks and Hawks

Keys & Predictions

Something is giving me a funny feeling- like we’re gonna see Norvel Pelle in a crucial stretch of the game. I think I’m worried about the Hawks best player, Clint Capela. He’s become absolutely murderous on the glass. Leading the NBA in offensive boards, he is just a much more imposing character than ever before. Long ago we was a skinny G-League alumni (they still called it the D-League then), he could barely fill out his tee shirts. Now his hulking shoulders are the fulcrum for two independently operated crane & wrecking ball hybrid arms. He’s sure to give Nerlens Noel fits and Taj Gibson as much work as he can handle.

New York has done well in recent games to give Nerlens an extra butt or two in the paint to drive hungry hippo rebounders away from the basket, but as we saw last night, it can make your rotations take an extra step and thats all a sharpshooting crew will need to make a clean look. Last night the Hawks had 18 offensive rebounds and launched 34 three pointers. Of course that ratio isn’t some kind of hoops transliteration but New York will have to limit attempts and reloads as much as they can.

Of course it won’t all come down to the glass. Whether or not Trae Young is allowed the space to shoot (with glasses on) is hyper-critical. Oh look, here he is now. Hey, Gothamites, what should you do?

Would ya drop this joker in a vat of acid and then punch him in his bespectacled face? Ya know, in basketball terms. Well anyway, what it comes down to is the Knicks’ ability to maintain focus, hone in on tonight’s prey and go for the murder, murder, murder and kill, kill, kill. The team with the best player is New York and streaks don’t matter. Swing/chop.

Game is at 8:00, Knicks by -27.

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Parting Shot

Was asked for some Clyde photos in the previous preview and what better time to throw Walt Frazier’s chops and gams on the scene than against his hometown Hawks. Look close and you’ll see Clyde rockin’ Chucks! Now RJ Barrett roams the defensive plains, in his nuevo Puma Clydes, drilling anyone trying any of that sneaky shit.

Pete Maravich Dribbling Basketball