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Preview: Tim Hardaway Jr. returns to Atlanta as Hawks host Knicks

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Welcome back, Timmy.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks are a much different basketball team than they were just a few months ago and once such change is the loss of Tim Hardaway Jr. in free agency. After an intriguing second season in a Hawks uniform, Hardaway Jr. found a big-ticket buyer in the New York Knicks and, while it was likely an overpay, the former Michigan swingman earned the payday and has performed well in his new spot.

On Friday, though, Hardaway Jr. will be back at his old stomping grounds for the first time since the defection, as the Knicks are in town. New York is playing quality basketball right now, as the team displays a 10-7 record after winning three of the past four games. It should be noted that the Knicks were not expected to perform this well (and it may not continue) but, for now, New York enters as a small favorite on the road.

The Hawks will have their hands full in the frontcourt again, as Luke Babbitt and Mike Muscala remain sidelined for this matchup. New York’s roster features a tantalizing young player in Kristaps Porzingis and, while the head-to-head match-up with John Collins (and even Dewayne Dedmon) could be intriguing, it is certainly a challenge to slow him down in this spot.

From a full roster standpoint, the Knicks do not present an overwhelmingly difficult setup for Atlanta if (and it is a big “if”) the home team can keep Porzingis in check. The Hawks have been competitive against teams with more overall talent than the Knicks in recent days but, in the same breath, that competitiveness has not translated into victories and that, of course, is the backdrop here.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from Philips Arena.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, November 24, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)