One more win is all it will take for the Atlanta Hawks. If they can pick up a win on Wednesday, they will knock the New York Knicks out of the NBA playoffs. And a chance to do it at the world’s most famous arena in what could be Marv Albert’s final call at the Madison Square Garden? What a victory it would be for them, on so many different levels.
The Hawks have controlled the series, picking up a clutch road win in game 1 and following it up with two home victories. They did take a defeat in Game 2, and then NY overreacted. The motto for the series has become “See You In the A,” which Trae Young said following that initial loss. They showed no signs of weakness as they got the crowd going and took a 3-1 lead.
Do the Knicks have anything left in the tank or have they already tapped in to the reserves? Down 3-1 during their first playoff trip since 2013, it doesn’t seem promising. Julius Randle has played horribly, and the fact that Derrick Rose is the only viable option should be worrisome. A bit of hearty good luck to New York as they try and lock in to keep the series alive.
The home Knicks are favored NYK -1.5. The over/under is set at 208.5 points.
Hawks Look to End Series
One more win and Atlanta is on to round two. During their 10-year playoff run from 2007-2017, the Hawks made the Eastern Conference Finals just once. They made it to round two on five occasions. Having not won a playoff series since 2016, they’re so close now. That one bad season they had which brought them, Trae Young, is looking very worth it.
Atlanta has been incredible all series, led by the heroics of their fearless 22-year-old leader. Trae has been so good and also clutch. He’s knocked down a number of key shots. His lobs to John Collins and Clint Capela have been constantly on the money. And he has done a good job of limiting turnovers while not being abhorrent on D.
The keys to victory lie with slowing Randle down again, limiting D Rose, and having Trae go for 30 and 10 assists one more time.
One Last Ride?
The Knicks‘ season has been incredible. They secured home court for round one. They won a lot more than the 13 games major outlets predicted them to. They won a game in the postseason against a worthy adversary. So, do they have enough to win this one and go from there?
The playoff format still plays in NY’s favor. If they can win here, Game 6 would be Friday in Atlanta. It is a wild environment, but it doesn’t touch MSG. So, if they can continue their ways at home in front of the home faithful, they have a chance to stun the opposition and win the series.
The Denver Nuggets taught is last year that 3-1 comebacks are too fun to pass up. That is not true, but they showed that anything is possible in any round.
Just like the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers.
HAWKS WIN! IT’S OVER!
Atlanta will win a close game as they punch their ticket to round two.
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