Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#2541 Atlanta Hawks vs.
#2542 New York Knicks
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 8:05pm EDT
Madison Square Garden, New York
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of teams on the right side of the playoff cut line in the Eastern Conference take the floor in a battle in the Big Apple. The Atlanta Hawks are on the road as they play the second game of a back-to-back as they face the New York Knicks Wednesday night. Atlanta was in action Tuesday night at home against Orlando and beat the Magic 112-96 in a Southeast Division matchup. The Hawks beat Indiana 129-117 at home Sunday afternoon in their previous contest. New York was in action at home against Charlotte Tuesday night and continued their winning ways with a 109-97 victory. The Knicks knocked off New Orleans 122-112 in overtime Sunday in their most recent contest. In the all-time regular-season series, the Hawks own a 197-182 advantage between the teams. The Knicks have won three straight meetings and five of the last six, including a 123-112 home win in the most recent matchup on February 15.

Atlanta Hawks Playing Second Game of Back-to-Back

Atlanta was in action at home against Orlando in a Southeast Division matchup Tuesday night in the front half of a back-to-back set. The Hawks entered Tuesday with a 1.5-game lead on the Heat for the top spot in the Southeast Division standings. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team held the fourth seed but they were just 1.5 games ahead of seventh-seeded Miami for a guaranteed playoff spot. Atlanta is 4-6 in the second game of back-to-backs this season as they average 111 points per game while allowing 111.7 points per contest in those outings. The Hawks are 16-15 on the road and hold a +1.2 ppg scoring margin (113.1 ppg for, 111.9 ppg against) this season. Atlanta is 17-13 against Eastern Conference teams with a +2.9 ppg scoring differential (114.2 ppg for, 111.3 ppg against) in those outings.

The Hawks enter this contest 13th in scoring offense by averaging 113.5 points per game. Atlanta is 9th in rebounding by collecting 45.2 boards a night while the team stands 19th by dishing out 24.2 assists per contest. Atlanta is 15th in the league in scoring defense as they allow opponents to score 111.4 points per game this season. Trae Young leads the team with 25.4 points and 9.5 assists per game this season. John Collins puts up 18 points plus 7.6 rebounds a night. De’Andre Hunter chips in 16 points a game while Kevin Huerter (12 points) and Cam Reddish (11.2 points) are averaging in double figures. Clint Capela (15.6 points, 14.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks), Bogdan Bogdanovic (14.4 points), Danilo Gallinari (13.4 points), Lou Williams (11.9 points), Tony Snell, Solomon Hill, Brandon Goodwin and Bruno Fernando are key rotation pieces for coach Nate McMillan. Atlanta is 18th in the league in field goal percentage by hitting 46.4% of their shots from the floor this season. The Hawks are 15th in threes per game as they hit 12.7 per contest and stand 10th in three-point percentage as they hit 37.5% of their attempts from beyond the arc.

Reddish (Achilles) is out until late April. Hunter underwent a non-surgical procedure on his knee and is expected to return in late April or early May. Dunn continues to rehab from offseason ankle surgery and has yet to make his season debut while Snell is out with an ankle injury. Gallinari (foot) has missed the last few games, including Tuesday’s contest, and his status for this one is murky at best.

New York Knicks Try to Extend Win Streak

New York won their sixth straight as they outlasted New Orleans at home Sunday to sweep the season series with the Pelicans. The Knicks entered Tuesday tied for third in the Atlantic Division, 8.5 games behind the 76ers for the top spot. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team is sixth, one game ahead of seventh-place Miami for a guaranteed playoff spot and 6.5 games clear of 11th-place Washington to remain in the playoff picture. New York is 6-5 in the second game of back-to-back situations this season. They average 106.4 points per game in those contests while allowing 99.1 points per game. New York is 18-10 at home this season with a +2.9 ppg scoring differential (108.2 ppg for, 105.3 ppg against) entering Tuesday. The Knicks are 19-17 against Eastern Conference teams with a +1.9 ppg scoring margin (104.2 ppg for, 102.3 ppg against) this season.

The Knicks enter this game 27th in the league in scoring offense with 106.1 points per game on the year. New York is 5th in the league in rebounding with 45.7 boards a night while ranking 29th by dishing out 21.1 assists per contest this year. The Knicks are 1st in scoring defense by allowing 104.5 points per game this season. Julius Randle leads the Knicks with 23.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists a night this season. Alec Burks contributes 12.6 points per game though he’s missed some time this season. RJ Barrett (17.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, three assists), Elfrid Payton (11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists) and Immanuel Quickley (11.5 points) are scoring in double figures. Derrick Rose has averaged 13.4 points plus four assists a night on the season. Reggie Bullock (10 points), Mitchell Robinson, Taj Gibson, Kevin Knox II, Frank Ntilkina and Nerlens Noel are other contributing pieces in the rotation for the Knicks this season. New York is 23rd in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 45.2% from the floor as a team. The Knicks are 24th in threes per game as they knock down 11.2 triples per game while the team stands 6th in three-point shooting as they connect on 38% of their attempts from beyond the arc.

Robinson suffered a broken foot on March 27 against the Bucks and likely is done for the year. Burks (health and safety protocols) was out Tuesday and likely will miss this one as well.

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Both teams are playing the second game of a back-to-back situation and their third game in four nights here. The plus for the Knicks is that all three of those games will take place at home while the Hawks have to fly in after Tuesday’s contest. New York has been rolling along with six straight wins and seven victories in their last nine games with the defeats in that stretch two-point losses to Brooklyn and Boston. The Knicks have beaten the Lakers, Grizzlies and Mavericks in this run. Atlanta is playing well but fatigue and injuries are going to take their toll on them here. Give the edge to the Knicks playing at home.

Prediction: New York Knicks +1.5

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Atlanta is 23rd in the league in pace with 97.4 possessions a night on the year. The Hawks are seeing an average of 222.7 points per game in the second game of back-to-back situations on the year. Entering Tuesday, the Knicks are fourth-worst in the league in scoring offense while they lead the league in scoring defense this season. New York will grind every possession as they are last in the league in tempo with 96.2 possessions a night on the year. The Knicks have seen an average total of just 205.5 points per game in the second game of back-to-backs. This season, the teams have combined for 221 and 235 points in the first two meetings. With both teams being gassed and the Knicks playing tough defense with a world of confidence, this one ends up short of the total.

Prediction: Under 218
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

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