The Atlanta Hawks normally play at home on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but tomorrow they will find themselves in New York for the holiday. This is the second game in what will be a packed week for Atlanta, as the team is finishing a back-to-back before heading to Detroit on Wednesday (and more games after that).
While finishing a back-to-back on the road is hardly an ideal situation, the Hawks will benefit from the fact that the Knicks are doing something similar. New York is also on the tail end of a back-to-back after falling to the Raptors yesterday. After seeing their record slip to 18-23, the Knicks are facing serious questions about their playoff chances.
The keys to the game for Atlanta will be to make sure the team can bring enough energy on a Monday afternoon following a Sunday game, and to see if Dennis Schröder can bounce back from some poor performances recently. Schröder has played well in the month of January, but struggled in the last two games against the Celtics and Bucks. Kent Bazemore will also be someone to keep an eye on, as his recent strong play suggests that he has become much more confident of late.
Ultimately, this is a winnable game for Atlanta. New York has struggled in recent weeks, and should be almost as tired as the Hawks for this 1:00 p.m. tip-off. Finishing a back-to-back on the road is never easy, but Atlanta should be at least competitive if it hopes to make a playoff run.
Game Date/Time: Monday, January 16, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA TV
Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM