Hawks vs. Knicks Odds, Picks, Predictions for Game 5: Expect a Tight, Defensive Battle in New York (June 2)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks.
- The Atlanta Hawks face the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden for a potential closeout Game 5 on the road.
- The past two games haven't been close, but the Knicks are slight favorites (-1.5) at home with a low total.
- With a ton of pressure on both young teams Raheem Palmer explains why the total has value on Wednesday night.
Hawks vs. Knicks Game 5 Odds
|Moneyline||-125 / +105|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
Through the first four games of it’s this series, it’s evident that the Atlanta Hawks are the more talented team.
Now the Hawks are just one win away from securing their spot in the Eastern Conference semifinals heading into Game 5 against the New York Knicks.
Hawks center Clint Capela who appeared unimpressed with the physicality of Tom Thibodeau’s team, and has postseason experience with the James Harden led Houston Rockets, understands the moment telling reporters “Now we’re coming to your home to win this game again and send [the Knicks] on vacation.”
Of course, that’s easier said than done as they’ll head to back to the city that never sleeps for the close out game, playing in Madison Square Garden for a pivotal Game 5 where the hometown Knicks have been installed as -1.5-point favorites with a total of 208.
Let’s analyze both sides and see where the betting value lies.
Trae Young continues to prove he’s one of the best up-and-coming stars in this league along with Luka Doncic and Ja Morant who have put on fantastic performances during this year’s playoffs.
Unlike Doncic and Morant, Young’s team actually appears to be in the driver seat in their respective series behind his 27.5 points, 10 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game on 47% shooting. He’s been a terror for this Knicks defense to stop in the pick-and-roll as they’ve had to worry about his playmaking just as much as his scoring.
Although Young continues to torment New York fans in ways that Reggie Miller and Ken Griffey Jr did in the 90s, the Hawks aren’t a one man show. Bogdan Bogdanovic’s ability to stretch the floor as perimeter threat, averaging 15.8 points while shooting 37.1% from behind the arc, makes this offense dangerous.
McMillan has done a solid job with rotations, keeping Young or Bogdanovic on the floor at all times as the offense has suffered in their absence. As long as one of the two are on the floor, the Hawks have enough role players to make the Knicks pay.
With scorers John Collins, Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Huerter and Lou Williams off the bench, you have to wonder if the Knicks are drawing dead trying to keep up with these scorers.
The 3-point discrepancy is a key point of dominance for the Hawks as they’ve outshot the Knicks 55-40 in 3-point field goals, outscoring them by a combined 45 points behind the arc in this series. While the Hawks’ open 3-point attempts didn’t fall in New York, particularly Game 2, they did fall in Atlanta as they shot a whopping 59.3% from behind the arc in Game 3 and 38.5% in Game 4.
The biggest thing that has gone overlooked has been Atlanta’s defense, which has held the Knicks to less than a point per possession during this series. The return of DeAndre Hunter was something I believed would be key in this series, given his ability to defend Julius Randle and in many ways his impact may have been understated.
The Hawks have crowded Randle with help defenders, forcing him to take tough shots — He is being tightly defended on 9.3 of his field goal attempts against the Hawks compared to 7.7 shots a game in the regular season, according to NBA Advanced Stats. He’s is shooting 29% on those shots in the playoffs compared to 47% in the regular season.
He’s simply not getting many open shots and with the way the Hawks offense is performance, this could be the end for the Knicks.
New York Knicks
Thibodeau has completely turned this team around and they’ve over performed expectations all season long, but this fairytale season for the Knicks is on the brink.
They’re primarily won with their defense, ranking fourth in Defensive Rating, allowing just 108.4 points per 100 possessions in their non-garbage time minutes according to Cleaning the Glass.
Of course, at some point water eventually meets its level. To put this in a manner more relatable to New Yorkers, as Jay-Z rapped on the Takeover, “There’s only so long fake thugs can pretend.”
Eventually teams find and exploit your flaws and weaknesses and the Knicks’ most glaring flaw is their 24th ranked offense led by Randle. Despite dominating the Hawks in the regular season, the NBA’s Most Improved Player has regressed from his All-Star from in the past five games.
During three games against the Hawks in the regular season, Randle torched the Hawks for 37.3 points per game on 73.2% True Shooting. In this series, Randle is scoring just 16.8 points per game on an abysmal 27.4% shooting, hitting just 20 of his 73 field goal attempts.
He’s also leading the team in turnovers with 3.75 per game — the Hawks have been sending multiple defenders to crowd his space and he hasn’t had much room to operate. It speaks volumes that his Game 4 performance in which he’s scored 23 points on 7-of-19 shooting was the highlight of his post season.
The Knicks haven’t found many answers outside of Randle even as they attempt to exploit the lack of size and the defensive limitations of Young.
One of the biggest things the Knicks can do to slow down Young offensively is to wear him down by attacking him on the defensive end of the floor. With Capela having the ability to ignore both Taj Gibson and Nerlens Noel, the Knicks have made it easy on Atlanta with their lack of spacing.
Derrick Rose continues to be a bright spot for this team as he’s averaging 22.8 points and 5.0 assists, but it speaks volumes that this team is heavily reliant on Rose at this stage of his career.
Although Thibodeau benched Elfrid Payton in Game 2, the Knicks haven’t gotten much consistency from other key players. In Game 4, Reggie Bullock scored zero points on 0-4 shooting, while Immanuel Quickly was 0-of-3 with 1 point. Alec Burks who was a standout in Game 1, was 4-of-12 for 12 points in Game 4.
Overall, if the Knicks want to have a chance at winning they’ll need the Randle, Rose, and the rest of the supporting cast on this offense to step up.
This has been a slow paced series with games featuring possessions of 94.2, 97.5, 90.2 and 92.6. Every single game of this series has gone under the total with Game 4 going under the opening line of 209.5 and over 208 depending on which line you got with the game finishing with a final score of 113-96, landing on 209.
I see nothing to suggest that we’ll see a faster paced game or that the Knicks will finally break out offensively considering the severe lack of spacing on this team.
The Hawks have also performed better offensively at home than on the road in this series, scoring just 104 points per 100 possessions on the road vs. 119.25 at home on during this series.
This is a close out game and I expect both teams to be on edge with offenses performing under expectations in a pivotal game for both teams with such young and inexperienced players. They’ve always said, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ll play the under 208.5 here.
Pick: Under 208.5 (-110)
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