Coming into the playoffs, the New York Knicks-Atlanta Hawks series was expected to be one of the most competitive first-round matchups. Game 1 showed exactly why, as things went right down to the wire before Trae Young hit a last-second floater to give the Hawks a 107-105 win.
Having already stolen homecourt advantage, the Hawks have a chance to take full command of the series if they can win Game 2 as well. So while it’s still early, Game 2 becomes pretty much a must-win for the Knicks. If they tie things up at 1-1 they’ll be right back in the series, but if they lose both at home and have to go to Atlanta trailing 0-2, it’s difficult to see how they come back.
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Ahead of Game 2, here’s everything you need to know:
(4) New York Knicks vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks
- Date: Wednesday, May 24 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Madison Square Garden — New York, New York
- TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT
- Odds: NY -130; ATL +110 | O/U: 212.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Featured Game | New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks
Hawks: It wasn’t pretty at times, but the Hawks got off to the perfect start in their first playoff appearance since 2017. Trae Young looked unstoppable in the pick-and-roll and proved that he’s more than ready for the moment. It doesn’t get much bigger than a postseason game-winner at Madison Square Garden. Meanwhile, on the other end of the floor, their defense held up well as they limited Julius Randle to 15 points on 6-for-23 shooting from the field. Of course, they’ll want to win Game 2, but they did their work early and have already earned a split in New York at worst.
Knicks: There are a few ways you can look at the Knicks’ loss in Game 1. On the one hand, they were still right there in the closing seconds despite Julius Randle having one of his worst games of the season. At the same time, you could argue that they aren’t going to get 27 points off the bench from Alec Burks again, and finding enough offense without that kind of unexpected performance might be a problem. One thing that everyone can agree on, however, is that Randle will have to play better moving forward if they want to get back in this series.
This is almost a must-win for the Knicks and they should come out with plenty of urgency. They need this game more and will have a raucous MSG crowd providing extra energy, so we’ll ride with them. Pick: Knicks -2