New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks

Dennis Smith Jr leads his New York Knicks into Atlanta to take on the Hawks and their rookie sensation Trae Young on Thursday, February 14th at 7:30 PM EST at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA. Broadcast is available on MSGN, Fox Sports Southwest, and Fox Sports GO; radio is available on 92.9 The Game.

How to Watch

Where: State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA

When: Thursday, February 14th at 7:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): MSGN, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports GO | 92.9 The Game

New York Knicks (Away)

Head Coach: David Fizdale {All-Time 60-97 | MEM, NYK}

The New York Knicks are pushing the limit of how much team can lose without calling it tanking. While the Philadelphia 76ers named it "The Process", the Knicks are very comfortably 10-46 and last in the NBA.

The New York Knicks are on a seventeen game losing streak. While some of those games have been close and against solid opponents - Sixers, Wizards, Rockets - losing by two or three points are still a loss.

When the Knicks take on the Hawks they will be taking on a team that is very much in their quality range. The Hawks however have been on the correct side of some positive results as of late - over the Wizards and Lakers - showing they will certainly be taking this game seriously.

Atlanta Hawks (Home)

Head Coach: Lloyd Pierce {All-Time 19-38 | ATL}

The Atlanta Hawks certainly aren't setting the league ablaze with their play. With a record of 18-38 they are unlikely to make the playoffs. But with the discipline and motivation of the Hawks' young pieces, the Hawks have pulled off some impressive wins.

Over their last ten matches the Hawks are 4-6, but recently ended a three game losing streak with a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. It was a close match but a solid defensive stand for the Hawks during the fourth quarter sealed the game for them.

When the Hawks take on the Knicks they will be testing to see if the lessons they've learned against stronger teams will translate to a wins. The Knicks are awful, but the Hawks will want this win to establish what section of the East's hierarchy they are in.

What's At Stake?

The New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks are two of the NBA's most storied franchises. In the all-time series the teams are square, with a record of 110-110.

A win for the Knicks would provide no movement for them in the standings.

The Hawks would also stand pat with a win or loss.

Questions to answer

Has Dennis Smith Jr won the PG role for the Knicks?

Is Trae Young's playmaking underrated?

We are going to compare the New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Dennis Smith Has Starred for the Knicks

It seemed that with the acquisition of Luka Doncic by the Dallas Mavericks, Smith Jr was not long for the Mavericks. An electric guard coming out of college with questions about his health and range - a la Russell Westbrook - Smith Jr fell to ninth in the 2017 NBA Draft, beyond even the New York Knicks.

In 2017 the Knicks selected French guard Frank Ntilikina for his athleticism, playmaking, and defensive potential. A spot after him, the Mavericks selected Smith Jr. The Knicks have made up for that miss by acquiring Smith now, but it came at the cost of star forward Kristaps Porzingis.

Since he joined the Knicks Smith Jr has averaged 17.4 points, 6 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and just 2.4 turnovers per game. While all have been losses, Smith Jr has showed that his offensive ability is years ahead of any other Knicks guard. He has still shown inconsistency with his shot from three though, shooting over the league average (36%) only once.

Trae Young Has Been An Ace Playmaker

A lot is spoken about Trae Young when it comes to his ability as a shooter. Known as a deep-range threat in college, Young brought his tendencies to the NBA with mixed results. While he's shooting a below-average 31% from three, he's made up for his shortcomings shooting the ball with fantastic playmaking skills.

Young is averaging 7.4 assists per game to 3.9 turnovers per game. While the ratio is quite high, head coach Lloyd Pierce has clearly given his young point guard the green light to make plays. The result of that faith is seen in Young's 999 points generated by assists so far this season. Far and away first for the Atlanta Hawks whose second, Jeremy Lin who is no longer with the team, is not even half that amount.

Young is clearly the player the Hawks want leading them into the future. His ability to shoot the three and move the ball is crucial to a guard in the modern NBA. While he has much to learn, the Hawks are fortunate to be in the position where their losses hold no lasting drawbacks.

New York Knicks Roster Notes

G Emmanuel Mudiay - 25 Jan 2019 - Out (Left shoulder) - The Knicks announced that Mudiay is dealing with a left shoulder strain. He will miss at least the next two weeks and will be re-evaluated after that time.

G Frank Ntilikina - 8 Feb 2019 - Out (Groin) - Ntilikina is expected to be out until after the All-Star break, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Atlanta Hawks Roster Notes

G Jaylen Adams - 11 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Right Ankle Sprain) - Adams is listed as Questionable for Tuesday's (Feb 12) game.

C Miles Plumlee - 11 Feb 2019 - Out (Left Knee Pain) - Plumlee has been ruled OUT for Tuesday's (Feb 12) game.

Head-to-Head: DeAndre Jordan (NYK) vs Dewayne Dedmon (ATL)

DeAndre Jordan

Center | 6-11, 265lb (211cm, 120kg) | Texas A&M | Exp. 10 Years

11.2 PPG | 1.8 APG | 11.8 RPG | 0.4 SPG | 1.0 BPG | 2.2 TOV | .700 FG% | - 3P%

Dewayne Dedmon

Center | 7-0, 245lb (213cm, 111kg) | USC | Exp. 5 Years

10.3 PPG | 1.3 APG | 7.2 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 1.0 BPG | 1.4 TOV | .485 FG% | .386 3P%

Two dangerous big men face off when Dewayne Dedmon and DeAndre Jordan come to blows in Atlanta. Jordan is now the Knicks only true center option with the departure of Enes Kanter, while Dedmon's value to the Hawks is understated.

Since Jordan has come to the Knicks it is no surprise that his minutes have fallen off. While there is yet to be indication of him being bought out, Jordan is playing aggressively for the Knicks. In 25 minutes a game Jordan is keeping the Knicks accountable defensively until their young, developing unit enters.

Dewayne Dedmon seemed to come out of nowhere and has now been in the league for five seasons. Once thought to be an undersized energy-rebounder, Dedmon has increased his overall efficiency while also showing talent shooting the ball. Dedmon is shooting 39% from three - well over the league average - on a commendable 3.3 attempts per game. If he can drag Jordan out to the three-point line, the Hawks can really open up their offence.

New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Atlanta Hawks favoured over the New York Knicks by 6.5, with an over/under of 110.

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