Atlanta Hawks Travel to MSG to Face Knicks


The Atlanta Hawks will try to secure their first victory of the 2015-2016 season on Thursday as they travel to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks.

Thursday’s game is the first nationally televised game of the season for the Atlanta Hawks, who fell to the Detroit Pistons at Philips Arena on Tuesday by a score of 106-104. In order to enter the win column for the first time this season, the Atlanta Hawks must rectify some issues that were prevalent during Tuesday’s contest.

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On Tuesday against Detroit, the Atlanta Hawks downfall stemmed from a significant rebounding advantage for the Pistons. The front-court of Andre Drummond and Marcus Morris gave the Atlanta Hawks trouble, as Detroit outrebounded the Hawks 59-40 on the night, as well as a 23-9 offensive rebound advantage in favor of the Pistons. Against a front-court of Robin Lopez and rookie Kristaps Porzingis of  the Knicks, the Hawks may not struggle as much as they did against the Pistons off the glass, but it is still an area of concern. 

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In a weird twist, Atlanta Hawks G/F Tim Hardaway, Jr. did not dress on Tuesday against Detroit and instead newly minted Hawks’ guard Lamar Patterson played 18 minutes off the bench. Now as the Atlanta Hawks travel to New York to face Hardaway’s former team, it’s uncertain of whether he will suit up for the team or not. The Atlanta Hawks gave up a significant amount of assets to acquire Tim Hardaway this offseason; and while he had a disappointing preseason for the team, it’s still strange that he did not play on opening night given the cost it took to get him.

For the New York Knicks, they opened the season on Wednesday with an impressive road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center by a score of 122-97. Forward Derrick Williams led the Knicks with 24 points off the bench, while rookie PF Kristaps Porzingis had an excellent NBA debut, scoring 16 points in 24 minutes. Carmelo Anthony added 11 points in 29 minutes. 

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Last season, the New York had a very disappointing year, finishing in the cellar of the Eastern Conference. Now in full rebuild mode, Head Coach Derek Fisher has a lot of work ahead of him, but could still present a problem for an Atlanta Hawks team still trying to gel and develop chemistry in the year.

Kyle Korver‘s play is key against the Knicks, as Korver only shot 1-5 from three-point range on Tuesday against Detroit and looked a step slow when moving off of screens. It’s too early to tell whether there is cause for concern with Korver, but nonetheless it’s worrisome. Korver is such a key to the Atlanta Hawks’ offensive success; and if he is unable to attract enough defensive attention to hit his shots, the Hawks’ offense will suffer.

The Atlanta Hawks will tip-off against the Knicks on Thursday at 8:00 PM on TNT, while 92.9 The Game FM will handle the radio broadcast of the game.

Next: Atlanta Hawks: 4 Observations from Pistons Game

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