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Preview and Game Thread #8: Atlanta Hawks @ New York Knicks

Atlanta Hawks 09-10 Season Game #8

@ Knicks_medium

Madison Square Garden
Nov. 11th, 2009, 7:30 PM
Sports South, Hawks Radio Network, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Chris Duhon
PG Mike Bibby
Larry Hughes SG Joe Johnson
Danilo Gallinari SF Marvin Williams
Wilson Chandler
PF Josh Smith
David Lee C Al Horford

Hawks Injury Report: None.

Blazers Injury Report: Nate Robinson is a game time decision. Eddy Curry is out but apparently no longer fat and out of shape. Just out of shape.

Blogging With the Enemy: Posting and Toasting

Predicted bane of the Hawks existence: This part of the preview is really rooting for Nate Robinson not to play. That guy lives to be the bane every time he plays. But I am going with Danilo Gallinari and I am confident I am right.

Game Preview:

The Knicks might not be good, but they are better than 1-7. Right? Maybe? They have to be. They should be. I have no idea. Regardless, any Mike D'Antoni team from now until new basketball rules are invented will scare me.

New York's style of play, the aura of their home court, the random and increasingly more infrequent Al Harrington offensive outburst all can whip up an upset. Unfortunately for Knicks fans, the mediocrity of the roster seems to be doing a pretty good job of keeping that upset ability at bay. The point is if the Hawks play well, the Knicks have not shown any ability to overachieve this season.

Apart from how the game goes, for these two contest every year, there is one thing I look forward to the very most of all. Al Horford verses David Lee. It is college enthusiasm with NBA skill every time down the court. And it makes me think about Stephen Curry and that makes me happy.

Keys to the game:

  1. I don't care if he is having a career year shooting. Make Larry Hughes shoot jump shots.
  2. Winning the turnover battle. The whole point (or two points) of D'Antoni's offense is to get more possessions and easier shots. If the Hawks give up 110 points tonight but score 130, that is good defense. They need to force bad shots and that means no turnovers and no run outs that allow easy ones. The Knicks are third in the league in creating turnovers and Atlanta is third best in holding on to the ball. Whoever wins that battle will win. And that is me going out on the bottom limb of a forty year old magnolia tree.
  3. Jamal Crawford continues to play, more or less, within himself. The big lights of MSG are just calling for 3-16 night from Jamal. No need for that, good sir.
  4. Easy shots for the Hawks. The Knicks' opponents are shooting 49% from the field. That is less than good. If you run your offense well, you are going to get a good shot against New York. Everyone, and I do mean everyone Joe (and Jamal), should remember that when they feel like dribbling for 14 seconds to shoot a long jumper.

Life outside the internet has kept me from updating, but check out Hoopinion's statistical look at the key issues so far this season and SBNation's power rankings that I helped put together. Tomorrow, I plan to return to spending far too much time on this blog. Drop any good links that I missed the last 24 hours in the comments.

Comment of last game thread from RivBoatGambler with,

"We need a controversy every day."

See you in the game thread from Taco Mac, and if you are near a radio, Lang Whitaker, Hawks fan and SLAM magazine editor and chief, will join Steve Holman for the radio broadcast.

Go Hawks!