The New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks have played one of the more contentious first-round series in recent memory over the past two weeks. When Trae Young hit his game-winning shot in Game 1, he shushed the crowd. Clint Capela said that the Hawks plan to send the Knicks “on vacation” after Game 5 when asked about New York’s physical style of play. There have been technical and flagrant fouls. These teams do not like each other.
And things almost escalated at halftime of Game 5. On the final play of the second quarter, Young got pushed on a floater attempt and believed he’d been fouled, but heard no whistle. Knicks guard Reggie Bullock stared daggers at him from there, and soon enough, Nerlens Noel and Solomon Hill needed to be separated at halfcourt by team staffers and officials before things escalated any further. Noel, Hill and Randle were assessed technical fouls for the incident.
New York has been frustrated with the way Young has hunted for fouls all series, and Atlanta has not taken kindly to how physically the Knicks have played defense. It seems as though Hill and John Collins were attempting to protect the smaller Young, and words were exchanged from there.
Both the Knicks and Hawks are in the postseason for the first time in several years, and as you’d expect, that has led to quite a bit of tenacity from two underdog teams. Fortunately, the two sides were separated before anything too dangerous took place, and the second half proceeded as scheduled.