Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks 12/25/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks Matchup Preview (12/25/21)

Two teams ravaged by COVID, the Atlanta Hawks, and New York Knicks, will attempt to fight their way closer to .500 on Christmas Day in Madison Square Garden. Neither of these squads would have imagined that they would be on the outside looking in through 30+ games of the 2021-22 NBA season. As a matter of fact, most experts were projecting these two teams to be playoff-bound by season’s end; however, they are currently the 11th and 12th seeds in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for Atlanta, it was starting to find its groove before most of its key players were forced to enter into the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Now, the Hawks have dropped four of their past five games, including bad losses to the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets. Until Trae Young and a few other starters can return, Atlanta will probably continue to drop the majority of its game. For the Knicks, the key will be their offensive output. If they shoot well, the short-handed Hawks have little opportunity to stay in the game for the full 48 minutes.

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks Betting Odds

It is hard conjuring up a situation where the New York Knicks don’t win this Christmas Day game against a short-handed Hawks squad. The Hawks have lost some really bad games recently, including six-point losses to the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic, as well as a 17-point loss to the Denver Nuggets. All of these losses were at home, which further proves how badly they are struggling. Despite losing five of their past seven games, the New York Knicks have had a couple of positive catalysts that could hopefully propel them to a win in this game. Kemba Walker has played quite well the past two games, as has Evan Fournier and Julius Randle. This is the offensive output and guard play that the Knicks have needed all season, but better late than never. If the Knicks keep up this momentum and strap up defensively at home against a struggling Hawks team, then there is no reason they can’t win comfortably. I like the Knicks against the spread in this game if they are giving around four or five points. Anything above that may scare me off because New York is far from a consistent, solid basketball team.

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/25/21
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Channel: ESPN

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Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup

PG: Delon Wright
SG: Skylar Mays
SF: Cam Reddish
PF: John Collins
C: Gorgui Dieng

Atlanta Hawks Analysis

Once again, Atlanta will be short-handed during a crucial period of the season. The Hawks will likely be without Kevin Huerter, Sharife Cooper, Lou Williams, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Clint Capela, Danilo Gallinari, Trae Young, De’Andre Hunter, and Solomon Hill. Now, the Hawks will be forced to start Delon Wright, Skylar Mays, and Gorgui Dieng, none of which they can be too excited about starting. Without Trae Young’s talent, leadership, and offensive usage, it will be an uphill battle for the Hawks. If you are a Hawks backer, you are hoping for Cam Reddish and John Collins to have close to 30 points each. It is not impossible, but highly unlikely.

New York Knicks Starting Lineup

PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Alec Burks
SF: Evan Fournier
PF: Julius Randle
C: Nerlens Noel

New York Knicks Analysis

After being taken out of the rotation entirely by head coach Tom Thibodeau, Kemba Walker has found himself back in the starting lineup. Walker’s response to being benched has been terrific in his past two games, scoring 29 points and 21 points against the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons, respectively. In addition, Walker grabbed a total of 14 rebounds and dished out eight assists in those two games combined. As I have been preaching all year, this team needs better guard play. If Walker can lead the way from this point on, with Fournier, Burks, and Barrett following suit, the Knicks could fight their way back into playoff contention by the end of the season. For this game, if the Knicks can have well-distributed scoring and keep the Hawks’ defense on their toes all night, then it won’t take too much else to win convincingly.

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks Daily Fantasy Picks

John Collins is an integral part of the Atlanta Hawks’ offense as he is the team’s second-leading scorer behind only superstar Trae Young. Collins has posted back-to-back double-doubles against the Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets, dropping 21 points, ten rebounds, two assists as well as 20 points, ten rebounds, and two assists, respectively. With Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Lou Williams, Clint Capela, Danilo Gallinari, Trae Young, and De’Andre Hunter all probably out for this game, Collins will be heavily used against the New York Knicks on Christmas Day. I could see a 25-30 point and 10-12 rebound game for Collins with relative ease in this game.

It has been far from smooth sailing for the New York Knicks so far this season. Despite bringing in two scoring guards to try and fix their depth issues, things have not gotten much better offensively. You would think that the Knicks’ best player, Julius Randle, would be relied upon significantly on offense because of their struggles, but that has often not been the case for some reason. Still, Randle has put together a strong season, averaging around 20 points, ten rebounds, and five assists per game. Randle has averaged 24 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in his past three games. His FG% (field goal percentage) can stand to improve along with his 3P% (three-point percentage), but he still is an effective, complete player who can fill up the stat sheet. He should have no problem doing that against the Atlanta Hawks.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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