It’s been a chippy battle between the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks so far, and the series is tied at 1-1. The Hawks will now be looking to capitalize on their home-court advantage.
Catch this game live on Saturday, May 29 at 7 AM Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Atlanta Hawks (1-1, 0-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Trae Young
- SG: Bogdan Bogdanovic
- SF: DeAndre Hunter
- PF: John Collins
- C: Clint Capela
Trae Young (31 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 8.5 APG) may have loved playing the heel in Madison Square Garden, but now he’s got to perform in front of his home fans, who will undoubtedly be ready to rain boos at the Knicks. Young’s fearlessness will be something to behold as he soaks in the adulation at home, and we can expect another big performance from him.
The Hawks’ big Achilles heel at the moment is their lack of scoring outside of Young. They’ve only got two other players averaging double-digits in points, and that’s Bogdan Bogdanovic (18 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.5 APG) and De’Andre Hunter (11.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG). If they want to find sustained success against the Knicks and beyond, they have got to spread that ball around more and not completely rely on their All-Star point guard.
Clint Capela (6.0 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 3.5 BPG) has done an admirable job in the middle for them and he’s going to have to keep it up if they want to maximize their chances of winning.
Another key to victory for the Hawks will be three-point shooting, as they’re currently only hitting 30.8% clip, and they’re taking 39 of them a game.
The Hawks are 23-18-1 ATS after winning a game.
ROAD TEAM: New York Knicks (1-1, 0-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Elfrid Payton
- SG: RJ Barrett
- SF: Reggie Bullock
- PF: Julius Randle
- C: Nerlens Noel
The Knicks have a talented young core, but had to rely heavily on aging vets Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson to pull out the victory in Game 2. Rose is actually their leading scorer at 21.5 PPG this series, and they’re going to need to see more from Julius Randle (15 PPG, 12 RPG, 4.0 APG) and RJ Barrett (13.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG). Randle, in Particular, seems off form compared to earlier in the season, where he earned himself an All-Star berth.
You can never count out a Tom Thibodeau-coached team that’s bought into his philosophy, and they’ll be playing grittily against the Hawks. They need to focus their efforts on containing Young and forcing his other teammates to beat them.
The Knicks need to keep their rebounding edge to steal at least one of these away games, too, as in their first two games they averaged 51.5 rebounds compared to 41.5 for the Hawks. They’re also going to the line 19 times a game but making only 73.7% of their shots. The Hawks are shooting shooting 85.3% from the charity stripe while averaging 17 foul shots so far.
The Knicks are 20-12-0 ATS after a loss.
Spread: The Hawks, buoyed by their home fans, and still feeling the bad taste of letting Game 2 get away from them, will get the better of the Knicks at home, and cover the -4.5 spread.
Over/Under: It might be a grindy affair, especially if the Hawks can’t get anyone going except for Trae Young on offense, so I think the under 211 hits.