Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks put on an absolute clinic from beyond the arc to overcome the New York Knicks and take a 2-1 series lead Friday night. After squandering a second-half lead in Game 2, the Hawks took care of business at home behind great shooting from long range (59.3 percent), and a well-balanced attack to make life difficult on the Knicks’ defense. Derrick Rose once again shouldered a majority of the offensive load for New York, minimal help from others — including another rough night for Julius Randle — was not enough for the Knicks to steal a game on the road.
Game 4 should be considered a must-win situation for the Knicks; otherwise they could head back to Madison Square Garden in a win-or-go-home situation. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s Game 4.
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(4) New York Knicks vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks
- Date: Sunday, May 30 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Location: State Farm Arena — Atlanta, Georgia
- TV: ABC | Live stream: WatchESPN
- Odds: NY +165; ATL -185 | O/U: 209.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks
Knicks: Randle’s scoring struggles continue in the series, and at this point the Knicks’ success moving forward hinges on his ability to get going against the Hawks. He went 2 of 15 from the field, and 2 of 7 from 3-point range, but finished with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double. However, that just simply isn’t going to be enough for the Knicks. Rose played tremendously well in Game 3 after being inserted into the starting lineup, going for 30 points, but when the rest of the starters aren’t contributing much, his production is pretty hollow. It isn’t surprising that the Knicks are struggling on offense in this series, considering they ranked 22nd in the league in offensive rating in the regular season, but they’ll need to get something going on that end or it might be a short series for New York.
Hawks: After the role players around Young went ice cold in the second half of Game 2, they stepped it up for Game 3 and were the difference-maker in Atlanta’s win. John Collins had his best performance in the series after being basically invisible in the previous two games, and Young did an excellent job of finding his teammates in the right spots to knock down shots. The Hawks aren’t going to shoot that well from 3-point land every game, but they took advantage of it in Game 3 and now find themselves in control of the series again.
If Randle can get it going on offense then this is a very different series, but even with his production the Knicks role players outside of Rose haven’t been productive at all this series. The Hawks simply have just too many weapons on offense, and New York doesn’t have enough creators or scorers to keep up. Pick: Hawks -4.5