Knicks @ Hawks Preview
Just one day after readily handing a rare loss to the Southeast Division leaders the Miami Heat the New York Knicks will take on the second ranked team in the Southeast the Atlanta Hawks.
The Knicks knocking off the Heat may not have a little “*” by it but perhaps it should as the Heat were without both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. It may have not mattered as much as Carmelo Anthony was on fire, scoring 50 points. It was the Knicks 10th consecutive victory and the Knicks are now on their longest streak since since the early ’90s. The Hawks will be looking to keep the Knicks celebration short when they visit Atlanta tonight.
The Hawks play solid basket ball at home. They are 24-13 when having home court advantage. However, that stat is not as comforting for those looking to bet on the Hawks as it might seem. The Knicks are 20-16 when playing on the road. That is the second best road game record in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks are coming off a victory as well. They recently defeated the Cleavland Cavilers 102-94. Their victory is also a bit bittersweet as Atlanta were fortunate that the Cavs were without their top scorer Al Horford.
Looking at the playoff picture, the Knicks are only five wins away from securing an Atlantic Division title. They are also in a very very close race with the Indiana Pacers for the No.2 seed spot in the playoffs. The Knicks need wins to lock up both the Atlantic Division and the No. 2 playoff spot.
The Hawks also have some playoff implication going into every game. They are fifth place in the Eastern Conference. They are only one game behind the Brooklyn Nets to lock up home court advantage during the first round. However, Hawks coach Larry Drew has state that he plans on resting a lot of his big playmakers by limiting their time played during these last few games in order to ensure a healthy team for the playoffs. This will definitely impact a game against a New York Knicks team firing on all cylinders.
The Hawks are the favorites to win this one, regardless, according to the spread with a -3.5 point spread. You can catch this game on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.