For the third time this season, the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks will square off on Friday evening. It requires a bit of a scheduling quirk to provide the avenue for two teams to gather three times before Christmas but, to this point, the Knicks have owned the season series and the Hawks will aim for a second consecutive win when taking the floor at Madison Square Garden.
On Tuesday evening, former Knicks guard Jeremy Lin keyed a fourth quarter run to give the Hawks an impressive victory over the Wizards and that is the last data point for Atlanta. In some ways, it likely would have been nice for the team to be able to follow that performance up in hastier fashion but, on the flip side, the Hawks enjoyed two days of rest before this game, while the Knicks played in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
The visiting team, partially on the strength of that rest advantage and improved recent play, enters this contest as only two-point underdogs in Las Vegas. For a bit of translation, that indicates that the Hawks would be slight favorites if this game took place on a neutral floor (home-court advantage is worth about three points) and that outlines the winnable nature of this particular game.
On the injury front, Atlanta will be without Taurean Prince, Omari Spellman and Miles Plumlee, while New York will not have the services of rookies Mitchell Robinson and Allonzo Trier. From a talent perspective, this appears to be a relative toss-up and, if nothing else, fun should be had by all at the world’s most famous arena on a Friday night.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.
Game Date/Time: Friday, Dec. 21, 7:30 pm ET
Location: Madison Square Garden
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)