NBA Game Preview: Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks

Mar 22, 2022

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Game: Atlanta Hawks @ New York Knicks 

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET 

Odds:  Hawks -1.5, Knicks +1.5 

Total: 226 

Tonight’s Hawk-Knicks clash pits bad defense (Atlanta) against bad offense (New York). Which prevails? Atlanta will be challenged simply because John Collins and Lou Williams will both miss tonight’s game. Bogdan Bogdanovic is questionable with a quad injury and if he doesn’t play the scoring load will fall directly on Trae Young. 

The Knicks are fairly healthy as they head into tonight fresh off a 108-93 loss to Utah on Sunday. The Jazz are a top ten defensive team and those are teams that the Knicks struggle against. New York is 27th in scoring averaging 106 points per game this season. The Knicks rank 23rd in adjusted offense and have an adjusted net rating of -1.0 (21st). New York simply is a team that struggles on offense. 

However, the Knicks offense does do well in certain situations. Those situations would be in games against bottom-10 defenses in the NBA. Against the worst defenses in the league, the Knicks are 16-9 SU and average 113.8 points per 100 possessions. In those games, the Knicks have a point differential of +6.3. Guess who one of those bottom-10 defenses is? 

If you said Atlanta, you’re right on track. The Hawks are awful defensively. Atlanta allows 112.1 points per game, which ranks 22nd in the league. While the Hawks can score – they have the second-best adjusted offensive rating in the NBA – they have the fourth-worst adjusted defensive rating (114.3). The Hawks have allowed less than 113 points just twice in their past ten games. Surprisingly, they are 6-4 in those ten games. 

Where it breaks down for the Hawks is in transition. Atlanta allows the second-most points per 100 transition plays in the league. Teams that the Hawks in transition typically have success. New Orleans, not an offensive powerhouse by any means, was able to beat the Hawks on Sunday 117-112. 

The Knicks have actually won the last three straight games in the series with Atlanta. All three of those games were played this season. That means New York can go for the sweep tonight at home. The last time the two teams played was in January. The Knicks won 117 -108 as a 1.5-point underdog.  

New York is only 6-14 SU in its last 20 games. Recently, however, the Knicks have been good against the number. New York is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games. They are only 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games. The Hawks are just 1-8 ATS in their last nine games overall. They have also struggled to cover against the Knicks going 5-12-1 ATS in the last 18 games against New York. Atlanta is also 0-6 ATS in its last six games on the road. 

Both teams have been trending Under. Six of the last eight Hawks games and four of the last six Knicks games have seen the total go Under. In the series, six of the last eight Hawks-Knicks games have gone Under. Four of the last five Hawks-Knicks games played in New York have gone Under as well.