New York hits the road to take on the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday night. Take a look at the betting odds, predictions, and starting lineups for the Knicks versus Hawks game below!
New York Knicks Vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction
Again, we are in a tough position, with Trae Young and R.J. Barrett carrying questionable designations. Young just had his second child, while Barrett has been battling an undisclosed illness over the past few days.
Luckily for the Hawks, they play this game at home, giving Young a better chance at suiting up against New York. It also wouldn’t shock us if Barrett gave this game a go, as he has had several days to rest. For the purposes of this betting preview, let’s assume that both players take the floor on Wednesday night.
Atlanta has been on a roller coaster to start the season, which is not surprising in the least; it lost its first two games, then won four consecutive games, and now has split games in the last four bouts. Earlier in the season, these two teams faced off in Atlanta, and the Knicks came out on top, winning by six points, despite the Hawks having six players in double-digits and De’Andre Hunter posting 27 points.
Will we see a similar outcome, or can the Hawks secure a big home win?
Once boasting a reputation of being a “Knick killer,” Trae Young has since struggled mightily against New York. Between December 2019 and April 2022, Young faced the Knicks nine times in the regular season and five times in the playoffs; he averaged 33 points and ten assists on a 45/40/87 shooting split.
However, in his past five games versus New York, he has shot roughly 35% from the field and 20% from behind the arc. The “Knick killer” has seemingly been imprisoned.
Whatever head coach Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks’ defense have been doing against Young has been working. Currently, they have the third-lowest (best) defensive rating in the NBA and have held opponents to the second-fewest points per game this season.
Further, Young has struggled this season with shooting efficiency, hitting just 35.7% of his shots and 29.4% of his three-pointers. This is a brutal matchup for Young because of how well the Knicks have been defensively and his shooting inefficiency.
The Knicks also held Dejounte Murray, who has started the 2023-24 campaign on a tear, to just 18 points. It has to be concerning for the Hawks that they had six double-digit scorers the last time they faced New York and still failed to secure a win at home. They have an incredibly deep bench, but so do the Knicks. And that makes New York one of the worst matchups for them.
New York Knicks Vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction: Knicks +1
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New York Knicks Vs. Atlanta Hawks Best Odds
With Trae Young and R.J. Barrett being listed as questionable ahead of Wednesday’s matchup, the sportsbooks have made the Hawks a narrow one-point favorite. Both teams have -115 moneyline odds as of Tuesday night. Further, the point total rests at 230 points, indicating a high-scoring affair.
New York Knicks Starting Lineup
Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup
New York Knicks Vs. Atlanta Hawks Injuries
The Atlanta Hawks will miss Kobe Bufkin and Mouhamed Gueye due to thumb and back injuries, respectively. Trae Young missed Tuesday night’s road game against the Pistons due to the birth of his second child, which could cause him to miss Wednesday’s matchup as well. Stay tuned throughout Wednesday morning and early afternoon to see if he can suit up.
Meanwhile, New York has no injured players; however, R.J. Barrett is questionable ahead of this game due to being ill. Barrett was unavailable for the Knicks’ last game and has missed three of the past six, too.
New York Knicks Vs. Atlanta Hawks Key Matchups
The key matchup for the Knicks and Hawks game will revolve around guard play, particularly Trae Young and Jalen Brunson. See who has the advantage in this one below!
Trae Young vs. Jalen Brunson
As alluded to above, the past handful of games against the Knicks have not ended well for Trae Young. Young has shot a meager 35% from the floor and 20% from deep in that stretch, giving the Knicks a substantial advantage in expected points per possession every time he takes a shot.
Meanwhile, Brunson’s past three games against Atlanta have all been on the road, where he has posted averages of 26 points, 6.3 assists, and four rebounds per game on a spectacular 52/50/75 shooting split.
It would be shocking in the Hawks decide to deploy Young defensively on Brunson, as Murray would have a much better shot at holding him at bay; however, even in the event that Dejounte cross-defends him, Brunson will find a way to get the switches he wants and hunt Young defensively. Advantage: Brunson