The Atlanta Hawks (11-15) take on the New York Knicks (13-15) Monday evening in Madison Square Garden, desperately needing a win after losing seven of their last ten contests. The visitors will look to avoid a four-game losing streak, and falling even further down the Eastern Conference standings.
The Hawks have a net rating of 0.0 following the string of defeats, with a matching 111.3 rating on each end of the floor. The Knicks, who play a slower pace, are also close to neutral with a +0.3 net. Defense has been the calling card of New York under head coach Tom Thibodeau this season, which should come as no surprise.
The Knicks play the slowest pace in the NBA, while the Hawks have the 12th fastest pace so far this season. New York would prefer a halfcourt game with set defense, while Atlanta likes to run a little more with Trae Young & Co.
Julius Randle is enjoying a career season for the Knicks, averaging 22.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, making an All-Star bid in the process. RJ Barrett has been much improved this season as well, scoring 16.6 points per game to go along with 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
Atlanta has lost 14 of their last 21 games after a 4-1 start to the 2020-21 season, struggling to close out games in the fourth quarter. The Knicks had a come-from-behind win over the Hawks in Atlanta back in early January.
A win would be big for the Hawks, who sit just one game behind the Knicks for seventh seed in the East, despite ranking tenth themselves. The middle of the Eastern Conference standings are very tight, and each win could be huge in terms of seeding down the road.
Tony Snell (right Achilles soreness) is questionable for Atlanta Monday evening. Rajon Rondo (back) is out. De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kris Dunn remain out.
Young being off the injury report altogether is perhaps notable, as he did appear to bang his wrist in Saturday’s loss vs. Indiana. He appears to be fine, despite attempting zero three-point shots in the contest.
Mitchell Robinson (fractured hand) is the only injury for the Knicks.
Game Date/Time: Monday, Feb. 15, 7:30 pm ET
Location: Madison Square Garden
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass (out of market)
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go