Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks will look for a 2-0 series lead over the New York Knicks Wednesday night. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The New York Knicks look to even their series with the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2
- Trae Young became just the fourth player in NBA history to have a 30-point 10-assist playoff debut
- Get the odds, preview, and pick below
Madison Square Garden was easily the most electric venue during the opening weekend of the NBA Playoffs. Now, just imagine if the New York Knicks could have pulled off a win.
They’ll get another chance Wednesday, hoping to even up their best-of-7 Round 1 set with the Atlanta Hawks, after second-year man Trae Young turned MSG into his own personal playground in a 107-105 Game 1 road win.
Oddsmakers are cautiously optimistic the home side can bounce back, putting the Knicks as 1.5-point favorites in Game 2.
Hawks vs Knicks Game 2 Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Atlanta Hawks||+1.5 (-106)||+110||Ov 213 (-110)|
|New York Knicks||-1.5 (-114)||-130||Un 213 (-110)|
Odds as of May 25th. Tip-off is Wednesday at 7:30pm ET
No Answer for Young
If New York has hopes of getting through the Hawks, they are going to have to find a way to contain Young, who finished with 32 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, including the dagger, game-winning floater with under a second to play.
He’s just the fourth player in NBA history to crack 30+ and 10+ assists in a playoff debut, joining LeBron James, Derrick Rose and Chris Paul.
COOLER THAN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PILLOW. pic.twitter.com/JanRzj1hCB
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 24, 2021
A master of getting to the line, Young didn’t have a free throw attempt until the fourth quarter, but he made hay when it counted, getting to the stripe nine times, hitting all of them.
The simple pick-and-roll action at the top of the key with TY orchestrating was devastating. It ended in a Young hoop, an alley-oop to Clint Capela or a nice look for a three-pointer.
Essa bola do Bogdan Bogdanovic pra empatar o jogo com menos de 1min foi SACANAGEM. 🥶#TrueToAtlanta #NBAnaESPN pic.twitter.com/13lSC31ssE
— Camisa 23 (@camisa_23) May 24, 2021
One of those was a clutch triple by Bogdan Bogdanovich, who finished the night with 18 points, including 4-for-9 from downtown. Reserve Lou Williams and forward John Collins were the only other Hawks to score in double-digits.
They also held up defensively, limiting the Knicks to 44.7% shooting from the field and 33.3% from deep. Atlanta also had just six turnovers all game, enjoying a +5 advantage over New York as well.
Only Up for New York
Simply put, it was one of the worst games Knicks forward Julius Randle has had all year. The freshly minted NBA’s Most Improved Player was in his first playoff game and could never settle down into his do-everything self, going just 6-for-23 from the field to put up 15 points, 12 boards and four assists.
Julius Randle: “I’m not making no excuses. I gotta be better. And I will be better.” pic.twitter.com/nrLbspphXh
— x – Sam (@BySamDiGiovanni) May 24, 2021
He only had nine games all season with fewer points, and three games with a worse shooting percentage than he had Sunday — a far cry from the Randle that set the Hawks ablaze during the regular season, when he averaged 37.3 points in three wins.
Alec Burks is taking over.
He’s scored New York’s last three buckets. pic.twitter.com/7KOsRnWBlw
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 24, 2021
Minus a thundering jam, wingman RJ Barrett didn’t fare much better, with 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting and 11 boards. The bench came up huge for the Knicks, with veterans Alec Burks and Rose picking up the slack. Burks finished with a team-high 27, while DRose had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.
RJ Barrett just put it down so hard on Bogdan Bogdanovic they heard it back in Toronto. MSG is chanting his name. This nasty dunk ties it at 63 for the Knicks. pic.twitter.com/D1qwj41gCR
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) May 24, 2021
Assuming Randle and Barrett go for better than 29 points on 9-for-38 from the field, New York should feel good about their chances in Game 2 — they were in position to win, and Atlanta just made more plays at the end.
DraftKings Promo for NBA Playoffs Gives Bettors Crazy 40-1 Odds on Any Team to Win
What’s the Best Bet?
Your wager should be determined with how you believe the Knicks’ 4th-quarter defense looks in Game 2. In the regular season, they allowed 25.6 points on 43.4% from the field and 33.5% from deep in the final frame. That is a grind, with top-5 figures across the board. In Game 1, Atlanta owned the fourth, pouring in 36 points on 11-for-17 shooting (64.7%), including 5-for-7 from three (71.4%).
Despite their loss, New York is 14-6 ATS in their last 20, while the Hawks improved to 1-4 ATS in their last five games in NYC.
I think Tom Thibodeau conjures up a formula to let anyone butYoung to beat them, as New York finds their way back into the series. If you’re looking for other action for this matchup, consider that the OVER hit in only 30 of 73 Knicks games this season
Pick: Knicks -1.5 (-114)
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgeable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.