The New York Knicks weren't particularly pleased about being left off the Christmas Day slate by the NBA. Their consolation prize? A post-Christmas contest against the red-hot Atlanta Hawks on the road.
Sorry, Carmelo Anthony.
To be fair, the Knicks have played much better basketball in 2015-2016, holding a 14-16 record despite two consecutive losses. Rookie big man Kristaps Porzingis will undoubtedly bring a large crowd of New York supporters to Philips Arena on Saturday evening, but beyond that, the Knicks put forth something that resembles an NBA roster this season, representing a nice change from last year.
As for the Hawks, Mike Budenholzer has his team playing quite well at the moment after a nice home win over Detroit on Wednesday. Atlanta was blessed with two days off after that game, and with that, the team will be battling against a bit of rust and complacency against an opponent that it should topple at home.
From a match-up perspective, it will be interesting to see how Budenholzer deploys his frontcourt defensively, with Anthony seeing some time at power forward this season and the possibility that the All-Star forward could be limited (or even absent) with an ankle issue. It would seem to be a safe bet that Kent Bazemore will begin on Anthony if he plays, but Paul Millsap and Thabo Sefolosha could both see time with that particular assignment.
It should be a lively crowd in downtown Atlanta for this particular game, and it is always fun when the Knicks come to town. Stay tuned throughout the day, and let's do this together.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, December 26, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM