Knicks vs Hawks Series Predictions and Game 1 Pick
When the NBA play-in games are over, it is time to focus on the first round of the playoffs. The New York Knicks are once again on center stage in the NBA playoffs. The schedule shows the Knicks will play on Sunday.
After a long drought of missing the playoffs and failing to meet expectations, the fans have something to cheer about again. But this can fade quickly if the team fails to produce a series victory in the first-round against the Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks are red-hot, but before jumping to conclusions with your Knicks vs Hawks series predictions, look closely. This is going to be a very good series.
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New Look Knicks
The Knicks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013 due to a new mindset. Tom Thibodeau ushered in a physical brand of basketball that is a perfect fit for the current roster. The team has added five points to the offensive output and improved their defensive efficiency. Julius Randle has emerged as a leader and an MVP candidate. In short, the Knicks are relevant once again.
Hope for the Hawks?
If the Hawks have any chance of slowing down New York, they must stop Randle. The Knicks swept the season series (3-0) and Randle dominated. In the last three meetings, Randle has put up over 40 points twice. Randle is a big presence on the court and a match-up nightmare for just about everyone on the Hawks. Therefore, he had a 58 percent field goal percentage in the meetings this season. John Collins has struggled defensively but is an offensive force. If he can put forth a solid defensive effort, this series could be his coming-out party. Collins has the potential to be a superstar in this league, but this series is when he will need to shine.
Game 1 Pick
New York is the favorite in-game one mainly due to the excellent run to end the season. It helps that the Knicks are considered media darlings and a popular team in the league. The 45-26-1 ATS record is one of the best that they have seen in decades. In fact, the Knicks are 15-2 against the betting spread since early April. Fans and sports bettors pay attention to this. And it really grabs the attention of the fans when the Knicks are only a 1.5 favorite in the first game.
Atlanta is arguably just as hot to end the season winning seven of the last eight games. Trae Young has led an offense that ranks in the top 10 at +7.3 points scored per 100 possessions.
This leaves us with an inflated number and the value in the game is betting on Atlanta.
Game 1 Pick: Hawks +1.5
Knicks vs Hawks Series Predictions
The Hawks will win game one, but the Knicks will respond in what will turn out to be a very long series. The Knicks will win every game at Madison Square Garden as New York opens the doors for fans to return, but more importantly, they will wear Atlanta down. Physical play takes a toll on a team and the Knicks play tougher basketball. New York ranks fourth in the league defensively allowing just 107.8 points per 100 possessions. In the playoffs, defense wins games, and the Knicks have the edge.
Knicks vs Hawks Series Predictions: Knicks in seven games
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