NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, April 17th
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (44-37) at New York Knicks (53-28), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks need to win Wednesday night to have a
chance at the fifth seed when they visit the New York Knicks at Madison Square
Thanks to a home loss Tuesday night to the Toronto Raptors, the Hawks fell
into a tie for fifth with the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls hold the tiebreaker
advantage over the Hawks, so even if the Hawks beat the Knicks, the Bulls
could take fifth with a win over the Washington Wizards in Chicago.
If the Hawks win and Bulls lose, Atlanta is No. 5 and will face the Brooklyn
Nets in the first round of the playoffs. Whichever team is sixth will take on
the Indiana Pacers.
The Hawks certainly didn't seem too concerned about the fifth seed on Tuesday.
Head coach Larry Drew rested Al Horford and the other four starters - Jeff
Teague, Devin Harris, Josh Smith and Kyle Korver - all played less than 20
"I'm going to err on the side of caution," Drew said after the game. "I think
it's more important to have healthy bodies, regardless of who our opponent
Korver was the leading scorer with 13 points and extended his streak of
consecutive games with a made 3-pointer to 73 straight.
The Knicks are locked into the second seed and will host the Boston Celtics,
starting this weekend. Their last time out on Monday, the regulars rested and
the Knicks fell to the Charlotte Bobcats, 106-95.
Carmelo Anthony has a slight lead over Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City
Thunder in the race for the scoring title. Anthony sat out the Charlotte game
and he won't play against the Hawks. Durant won't go for the Thunder, so
Anthony won the scoring title.
It's expected that most of the Knicks regulars won't see much time Wednesday
if any at all. Big men Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin are nursing injuries
and both are expected to be ready come playoff time.
Rasheed Wallace played for the first time since December Monday against the
Bobcats, but only logged four minutes. Head coach Mike Woodson said after the
loss that Wallace asked to come out as he tweaked his bad foot.
"I'm not saying it's a setback," Woodson told the New York Post. "He was a
little sore. He asked me to come out and I pulled him. We'll evaluate it a
little more and see how he feels."
On Tuesday, the Knicks bolstered their roster when they signed free agent
Quentin Richardson. He last played in the NBA during the 2011-12 season with
the Orlando Magic.
The Knicks have won both meetings this season and Atlanta has dropped three
straight on the road in this series.
04/17 11:13:09 ET