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Preview: Hawks take on Knicks in Summer League finale

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA fans will get the highly anticipated New York Knicks-Atlanta Hawks matchup they’ve waited for since the Hawks booted the Knicks out of the first round of the playoffs in five games in June at 7 pm ET Monday night.

The Hawks’ (2-2) fifth game is the 2021 Summer League finale for the franchise and the team’s last organized game of basketball until the Oct. 4 preseason opener against the Miami Heat.

The Knicks (3-2) are led by returning rotational players Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin as well as rookie guards Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride. Quickley sat out of Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers due to a groin injury, and Grimes and McBride filled in by scoring a combined 51 points. Grimes, the No. 25 pick in this year’s draft, 2018 McDonald’s All-American, and former Kansas and Houston standout, has scored 53 points in the past two Knicks Summer League games after getting off to a slow start.

On the Hawks’ side of things, Atlanta is coming off a 94-90 win over Max Strus and the Miami Heat. The team played without rookie guard Sharife Cooper, who missed the game due to health and safety protocol. Cooper still sat on the bench in street clothes as he watched the Hawks pull out a victory led by second-year guard Skylar Mays and fellow rookie Jalen Johnson. Johnson finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.

“I started the game with trying to bring a lot of intensity,” Johnson said. “I think that kind of fueled it.”

The No. 20 pick said his transition to the professional level has been a bit smoother for him so far because of the spacing he has on the floor.

Mays finished with 26 points and nine assists. The Baton Rouge native has made an adequate case for him to keep a roster spot while in Vegas, by continuing to use his 6’4, 205-pound frame to finish tough baskets at the rim in addition to his impressive playmaking ability.

“I put a lot of work in,” Mays said. “It’s good to see that I can go out there and get game reps and compete. You know, that’s what I’m all about.”

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, August 16, 7:00 pm ET

Location: Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV


Streaming: ESPN Plus