NBA Preview and Free Pick
New York is in Atlanta in both team’s final contest before the All Star break. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on State Farm Arena court. NBA Preview and Free Pick: Hawks vs Knicks.
The Knicks have an opportunity to improve on the what is the league’s worst overall record. New York hasn’t won a game since Jan. 4 and are riding a franchise-worst 18-game losing streak.
The Knicks are off a 126-11 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, a game in which they shot just 40 percent from the field. Trade deadline acquisition Dennis Smith Jr. has yet to improve the team’s shooting percentage. The former Dallas Maverick is a mere 14-of-44 from the field in his last three contests. The trade for Smith saw the Knicks send Kristaps Porzingis offering rookie center Mitchell Robinson more playing time.
The youth of the Atlanta (-8, 225) roster has seen the development of rookie point guard Trae Young who matched a season high of 38 minutes due to the team’s short bench. The buyout of Jeremy Lin and current injury to rookie Jaylen Adams has not slowed the tempo of the Hawks.
Both of these franchises sport a large number of first-year players and the result is a lack of defensive savvy. Rookies like Knicks SG Allonzo and Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter (ankle-probable) will find both sides playing for fun tonight knowing they will have the next seven days to spend enjoying time away from work.
The Hawks are at the bottom of the league in points per game allowed giving the Knicks their first contest of scoring more than 115 total game points since January 4th which happens to be the last time they earned a “Dub”.
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