After more than four years, the Atlanta Hawks host a playoff game on Friday evening. Trae Young and company return home after garnering a split at Madison Square Garden, and the Hawks will host the New York Knicks in a potentially pivotal Game 3 matchup in front of what should be a raucous crowd at State Farm Arena.
The Hawks flailed in the second half in Game 2, scoring only 35 points and going without a single field goal in the final five minutes. While that was unfortunate in keeping Atlanta from taking a stranglehold on the series, the Hawks remain in a strong position, particularly if they can find their perimeter shooting form at home.
Atlanta has not lost a home game since April 15 and, since the All-Star break, the Hawks are a blistering 17-2 in their home building. While the Knicks will likely bring playoff-quality intensity, the Hawks remain the more talented team from top to bottom, and they have done a solid job on the defensive end of the floor throughout the series.
In terms of adjustments, the Hawks could tinker with their rotation in Game 3, particularly with regard to how many minutes top players like Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic are able to play. From there, Atlanta must recapture its defensive footing against Julius Randle after the All-Star forward scored 13 points after halftime on Wednesday.
Atlanta will be without Brandon Goodwin (out for season) and Cam Reddish (Achilles), with the rest of the injury report clean.
New York lists only Mitchell Robinson (foot) as out for Game 3.
As of late Thursday evening, Atlanta is a four-point favorite at home. Though home-court advantage certainly gives the Hawks an edge, a spread of four also seems to indicate oddsmakers may favor the Hawks as the better team, and it will be interesting to see how they respond in this setting.
Game Date/Time: Friday, May 28, 7:00 pm ET
Location: State Farm Arena
TV: Bally Sports Southeast, ESPN, NBA League Pass (out of market)
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Bally Sports App, Watch ESPN