Knicks Hawks Basketball
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives to the basket as New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier (13) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

KNICKS VS. HAWKS MARCH 22

Kyle Barrette

With the madness on pause for today, we turn our attention back to the NBA. The season is winding down and teams are being eliminated from playoff contention, but in tonight’s matchup we have one team trying to stay in the playoff picture and one team trying to get them out. The Hawks are currently the 10th and final team in the playoffs and have a decent lead over both the Wizards and the Knicks. With only 11 games left in the season, every game now counts as the gap between the teams is five games. Can the Knicks get it done tonight when they host Atlanta? Let’s break down this matchup and find out.

Knicks:
After their awful start, the Knicks have been doing a good job of playing catch-up to try and turn their season around. New York will have a decent chance of making the playoffs on their own, as they have this game against Atlanta, two games against the Hornets, and a game against the Wizards. All of those teams have a direct impact on the Knicks’ playoff chances. In addition, besides their last outing against the Jazz, the Knicks have been reaching the century mark, something they constantly did not reach when the team was struggling. Defensively, they have been solid again and rank in the top five in defense this season. The Knicks have dominated the season series between the two teams, going 3-0 against Atlanta this season.

Hawks:
The Hawks are playing .500 basketball right now and, if they’re not careful, could still lose that last playoff spot. Collins and Williams will be out for Atlanta tonight, making Atlanta’s bench a little thin. Atlanta’s offense is ranked seventh overall at 112 points per game. The problem is that the Knicks have a good enough defense to neutralize that offense, especially one without Collins and Williams. Next is the Hawks’ road struggles. Atlanta is only 12-22 away from home this season and they are headed to the Garden, a place that is definitely not a fan of star Trae Young. Atlanta is ranked 22nd in defense, giving up 112 points per game, which explains the .500 record. I am more concerned about this number without Collins in the middle to try and slow down a lot of the Knicks players that like to go to the basket.

Knicks vs Hawks Prediction: Knicks +1
I think New York wants this more right now than Atlanta does. The numbers and matchups are more favorable to the Knicks. For a team that struggles on the road, this is probably going to be the most difficult place for Atlanta to play, and if they were to pull out the win, it would have to be a huge game from Young. I don’t see it happening. Take the Knicks +1.

Same Game Parlay:
RJ Barrett to score 30+ Pts, Knicks to win by 1-10 Pts, Clint Capela to record 12+ Rebounds and Knicks team total Over 11.5 Pts.

SGP Odds +1643

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