Eastern Conference playoff contenders the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks will face off for the final time this season on Wednesday. Both sides carry their respective winning streaks into this matchup.
Fixture: Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 21st, 8 PM ET (Thursday, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
Atlanta Hawks Preview
The Atlanta Hawks continued their merry run with a comfortable victory against the Orlando Magic last night. They've won eight of their last 10 games and have climbed to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. They've lost both their previous matchups against the New York Knicks this season, though, and will be looking to prevent a sweep on Wednesday.
Lou Williams returned to form last night with a 22-point outing against the Magic. He'll be hoping to use this performance as a catalyst to shed off his poor run in April. Clint Capela made his presence felt defensively for the Atlanta Hawks last night, while managing 14 points and 19 rebounds. He's averaged 19.4 points, 16.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks through 10 games in April.
The likes of Cam Reddish, De'Andre Hunter and Danilo Gallinari remain on the sidelines due to injuries. Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter will continue to feature in the Atlanta Hawks' starting lineup as a result.
Key Player - Trae Young
Suffering from a bruised right eyelid, Trae Young wore protective glasses in the Atlanta Hawks' last matchup against the Orlando Magic. That didn't slow down Young, who recorded 25 points and seven assists. He's averaging 25.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this season. What has stopped Young, in the past, though, is the New York Knicks' defense. He's shot a combined 15-of-41 in two games against the Knicks this year and will be hoping to do better on Wednesday.
Atlanta Hawks Predicted Lineup
G Trae Young, G Bogdan Bogdanovic, F Kevin Huerter, F John Collins, C Clint Capela
New York Knicks Preview
After a tough start to the second half of the season, the New York Knicks have done well to stay on course for a playoff finish. They've won seven straight games and currently occupy the fifth seed in the East with a 32-27 record. Their upcoming matchup against the Atlanta Hawks is the third of a six-game homestand.
The New York Knicks have been rather fortunate with injuries this season but are likely to miss Alec Burks for a fourth consecutive time due to COVID-19 protocols. Mitchell Robinson has been sidelined for the season but Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson have deputized well for him. The two have combined for 3.1 blocks per game this season.
Both Derrick Rose and Reggie Bullock have been vital contributors during the New York Knicks' current winning run. While Rose has managed 15.7 points on 50% shooting in these seven games, Bullock has averaged 12.6 points on 40.4% shooting from downtown. Meanwhile, RJ Barrett has accrued 22 points and 4.3 rebounds in the last three games.
Key Player - Julius Randle
Julius Randle has been on an absolute tear in the last five games for the New York Knicks. He's averaged 31.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists and two steals during this tenure. Almost everything on the Knicks' offense runs through Randle. Despite the presence of Clint Capela, Julius Randle has bulldozed through the Atlanta Hawks in the previous two fixtures this season, recording a combined 72 points and 26 rebounds.
New York Knicks Predicted Lineup
G Elfrid Payton, G Reggie Bullock, F RJ Barrett, F Julius Randle, C Nerlens Noel
Hawks vs Knicks Match Prediction
Both the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks are in good form right now. But the Hawks have struggled against teams that know how to lock up Trae Young, which is exactly what the Knicks did the last time around. With Randle and Barrett also in good touch offensively, expect the Knicks to beat the Hawks again and sweep them for the season in the process.
Where to watch Hawks vs Knicks?
Local coverage of the game will be available on Bally Sports Southeast–Atlanta and MSG Network. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.