Knicks vs. Hawks Odds, Preview, Prediction: New York Offense Will Find Opportunities
Steven Ryan/Getty Images. Pictured: Evan Fournier.
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Knicks head to Atlanta after taking a beating from the Suns in New York last night. The Hawks were on the other side of their own blowout after they destroyed the Memphis Grizzlies with a 32-point victory.
Who has the edge in this rematch from last year’s Eastern Conference Playoffs?
Knicks Offense Losing Steam
The Knicks have elected to rest Kemba Walker today due to the back-to-back and Derrick Rose will miss his third consecutive game so Immanuel Quickley would be the next man up at point guard. Quickley has played well as of late and is averaging 13.8 points, 2.0 assists, and 2.5 3s over his last four games.
After starting the season off hot, the Knicks’ offense has been anemic the past two weeks. They’re scoring just 105.4 points per 100 possessions and have an eFG% of just 50.2%, per Cleaning the Glass.
While their actual shot selection is fine, they are taking more shots at the rim and from 3, they just have not been able to convert of those opportunities. Julius Randle and RJ Barrett have regressed from 3-point range and are making just 33.9% and 32.0% of their attempts which is a significant downturn from their 40% marks from last season. Considering they hold two of the Knicks’ highest usage rates, this is not ideal for their offense.
On the flip side, the Knicks’ defense has been a sieve all season based on Tom Thibodeau’s standards but they once again are performing some magic on that end. The Knicks have the eight-best eFG% allowed (50.7%) compared to their expected allowed of 53.4%, per Cleaning the Glass.
Much of this has to do with the difference in protection at the rim. The Knicks rank first in field goal percentage at the rim due to the defensive prowess of Mitchell Robinson, Nerlens Noel, and Taj Gibson (who is out today).
Hawks on a Roll
The Hawks continue to be without DeAndre Hunter for the next six weeks or so, but they’ve been on a roll as of late as winners of their last seven games.
The Hawks have the best point differential in the league over this stretch, +20.2, and they’re scoring a preposterous 125.7 points per 100 possessions — roughly 16 points more than the league’s average. They are steamrolling teams; however, the quality of those team’s defenses has been questionable. Over this seven-game stretch, the only top 10 defense the Hawks faced was the Celtics. Luckily for Atlanta, the Knicks’ defense has been suspect.
The Hawks have been shooting the lights out and have an eFG% of 57.0% during their seven-game winning streak. They’re shooting 41.5% as a team from three-point range which is the best in the league.
While their eFG% outpaces their expected eFG%, the Hawks have been doing this all season due to the excellent shooters they have on the team between Trae Young, John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Kevin Huerter amongst others.
With the news of Derrick Rose, Kemba Walker, and Taj Gibson being listed as out, the spread shot up from Knicks +6 to +7.5. However, I think this is a slight overcorrection. While Rose and Gibson have been excellent this season, Nerlens Noel plays essentially the same role as Gibson, and Immanuel Quickley is a sparkplug for New York.
Moreover, while Kemba is beloved by New York, Cardiac Kemba should really refer to his team-worst -27.9 point differential per 100 possessions. By removing him from the rotation, it should theoretically improve this Knicks team.
While the Hawks have been scorching hot, their propensity to allow 3 point shots is concerning. Evan Fournier should capitalize in this spot since he makes 2.5 3s per game on a team-leading 6.5 attempts. His points prop is set at 12.5 and I think there’s value there as well as his 2.5 3s made line (+136) given the absence of both Rose and Walker.
As for the full game, I think the Knicks should be able to keep this close. They’ll miss Rose, but Quickley is playing great basketball, and although he’s streaky when he plays well the Knicks usually respond. The Hawks allow the shot opportunities that the Knicks want to take, so I’m fading the line move a bit and taking the Knicks’ team total.
Pick: Knicks’ Team Total over 103.5 and Evan Fournier over 12.5 points