The Knicks vs Hawks has been an entertaining series for the neutral, however nerve-racking for the fans of both teams, with the Hawks taking game one and the Knicks taking game two at Madison Square Garden.
The sides will meet again tonight in Atlanta looking for the advantage and momentum for the rest of the series.
Knicks @ Hawks | 7pm EST | State Farm Arena | ESPN
Knicks vs Hawks: Previous Meetings
The sides have met three times in the regular season this year, with the Knicks sweeping the Hawks and winning all three matchups.
Knicks vs Hawks: Underdog Success
Both sides were doubted this season, especially the Knicks who had almost become the laughing stock of the NBA, having not made the playoffs since 2013.
However, the New York Knicks shocked everybody this season, thanks to a breakout season for all-star Julius Randle, good rookie seasons for Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley, and some fantastic coaching from Tom Thibodeau.
The Hawks have also had a surprisingly successful season, with Trae Young leading them on a run which saw the Hawks win seven out of eight games to lock up the 5th seed in the East.
Knicks vs Hawks: Key Battles on the Floor
Here are a few individual battles which I think will impact the game and ultimately the series a lot:
Randle vs Capela
This matchup will be pivotal for both teams from a rebounding perspective, with Clint Capela leading the league in rebounds per game with a whopping 14.3.
Randle accumulated 12 rebounds on Wednesday night, helping the Knicks tie the series.
Young vs Rose
A key matchup for several reasons. Both are brilliant playmakers, can motivate the players around them, and most importantly, get buckets when they are needed the most.
Trae Young is averaging 25/4/9 on 44% FG and 34% 3PT.
Young ranks 2nd in the NBA in assists this season.
Derrick Rose is Averaging 15/3/4 on 49% FG.
Home Court Advantage
The Hawks will head into game three with a huge home-court advantage, as the Atlanta fans who have waited four years to see their team in the playoffs will definitely make some noise and spur the Hawks on.
Concluding Thoughts on Knicks vs Hawks
Tonight’s game has the potential to be a classic, and with everything to play for and a conference semi-final on the line, it will surely prove to be an entertaining one.
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