The Atlanta Hawks will try to add the recent woes by the New York Knicks at home when the two teams meet again Saturday night. New York defeated Atlanta 95-91 on Wednesday earning their fifth straight win in the series. Something will have to give on Saturday.
The Knicks struggles at home have primarily come from their defense. New York is surrendering 110 points at home during the losing streak and their lone home victory came in the opener over the Milwaukee Bucks.
New York jumped out to an early lead only to see the Hawks surge ahead with a strong third quarter. The Knicks fought back in the fourth with a series of buckets from Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani leading the way. New York bombed away from three-point range, particularly in the first half where eight of their 12 makes came. Defending the line and making things tough for New York's shooters will be a priority again Saturday night.
Atlanta's Jeff Teague finished with 25 points in Wednesday's loss against the Knicks and he upped that with a career-best performance against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. Teague is excelling in Mike Budenholzer's pick and roll offense and the Hawks rode him in the fourth quarter to keep the Sixers at bay. The Hawks kept forcing Philly's Spencer Hawes into the pick and roll and he powerless to slowdown Teague. Atlanta should try a similar approach against the Knicks and Bargnani who looked clueless in Wednesday's game against the pick and roll.
Before the first meeting, Mike Woodson made a change inserting J.R. Smith into his team's starting lineup. Friday it was Mike Budenholzer's turn to shake up his lineup. Gustavo Ayon made his first appearance of the season and started at center against the Sixers. Al Horford moved to the power forward slot while Paul Millsap came off the bench. The Hawks also got another shot in the arm against the Sixers with the return of Lou Williams who may not play on Saturday due to the back-to-back situation.
Budenholzer indicated that he was looking for as many good combinations as he could find on the court and said that the lineup change could be short lived.
Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. from Madison Square Garden. The game will be televised on SportSouth and on the radio at 92.9 FM "The Game" with veteran broadcaster Steve Holman on the mic.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, November 16, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Radio: 92.9 FM "The Game"