The New York Knicks get another crack at getting their first playoff win in years, as they take on the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2. All eyes will be on Julius Randle and Trae Young, with each star looking to lead their teams to a W.
Catch this game live on Thursday, May 27, at 7: 30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: New York Knicks (0-1, 0-1 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Elfrid Payton
- SG: Reggie Bullock
- SF: RJ Barrett
- PF: Julius Randle
- C: Nerlens Noel
The first playoff game at the Mecca of Basketball in almost 10 years did not turn out nicely for the Knicks, as they suffered a 107-105 loss to the Hawks in Game 1. Julius Randle now carries the extra burden of having to show up with a much better performance this Thursday after scoring just 15 points on a 6-of-23 shooting.
Knowing how big Randle’s role is in the turnaround of this Knicks team, it’s not easy to see why New York got subdued in the series opener. Randle is too good of a player to be silenced two games in a row by the Hawks, though the Knicks are also looking to get another huge effort from its bench.
Immanuel Quickley scored 10 points off the bench, while Alec Burks and good ol’ Derrick Rose generated 27 and 17 points, respectively.
There also seems to be no reason anymore for the Knicks to let Elfrid Payton play, let alone start after wasting eight minutes of floor time and coming up with zero points. Quickley could be a playoffs starter sooner than later. The Knicks are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games after a two-day rest.
ROAD TEAM: Atlanta Hawks (1-0, 1-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Trae Young
- SG: Bogdan Bogdanovic
- SF: De’Andre Hunter
- PF: John Collins
- C: Clint Capela
Trae Young proved that the lights are never too bright for him. Young mustered 32 points with 10 assets in the Hawks’ win in Game 1. And of course, he drained the basket that put the Knicks away for good in the series opener.
The Hawks’ offense relies so much on Young’s ability to create and that he was able to dominate Knicks guards in Game 1 was a great sign for things to come for Atlanta, which shot 12 of 34 from deep in that contest as well. The duo of Clint Capela and John Collins scored just 21 points together, but their rebounding and presence in the middle are vital for Atlanta.
Danilo Gallinari and De’Andre Hunter were also unsung heroes in the win, as Randle went 2 of 11 from the field when either Hawk was the closest defender to him. As it stands, it appears that the Hawks have Randle checked, and that’s not good news for New York, which made only 44.7% of their shots in Game 1. The Hawks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games after a win.
The Knicks lost Game 1, but they were not defeated in dominant fashion. The Knicks bounce back and make the Garden go crazy. Take New York to win and cover (-2).
Game 1 was played out akin to both teams’ paces in the regular season. I say things stay the same in Game 2. That said, the Knicks and Hawks should still come up with more than 215 points. Take the Over (215.0)