The Atlanta Hawks suffered an utterly brutal defeat on Friday night in Charlotte, but there is no rest for the weary in the NBA, and that is never more accurate than in this spot. The Hawks host the New York Knicks at Philips Arena less than 24 hours after than 58-minute extravaganza, but on the bright side, New York also played on Friday, and they have a longer distance to travel coming from the Big Apple.
While the Hawks are a somewhat disappointing 2-3 on the season, the Knicks are 2-4 and scuffling in their own right after three consecutive losses. New York's focus will always be Carmelo Anthony, and it will be interesting to see how Mike Budenholzer deploys his wing defenders (i.e. DeMarre Carroll and Thabo Sefolosha) against one of the league's best scorers. Depth could come in handy for the Hawks here after Friday's marathon, and that could result in additional time for Sefolosha, who played only 28 minutes against 40 for Carroll.
Elsewhere, the Knicks boast one of the league's worst defensive units, including a 109.8 defensive rating for the year. New York does deploy a talented roster, with players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and the ever-popular J.R. Smith alongside Anthony, but they are short-handed up front in terms of defensive stoppers, and that could prove pivotal against a Hawks frontline that could be tired in this match-up.
There are a couple of deployment choices to watch for Mike Budenholzer here, as Dennis Schröder operated as the default backup point guard on Friday night (ahead of Shelvin Mack) and Pero Antic played 23 minutes as the backup center with Elton Brand (and Mike Muscala) sitting on the bench. It would not be a surprise to see Brand in this game if the situation calls for it, but the shift from Mack to Schröder could be in the cards if Dennis continues his stellar play.
Stay tuned throughout the day for updates from Philips Arena, as the Hawks look to avenge a couple of heart-breaking defeats by "righting the ship" a bit on Saturday evening.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, November 8, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM