Las Vegas NBA Picks: New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks
Sunday, April 22, 2012
There is little drama left in the Eastern Conference, where most of the seedings have been locked up. The New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks still have incentive for which to play, with home court advantage being at the top of Atlanta’s list.
The Knicks are battling with the Philadelphia 76ers for the seventh spot and are working Amare Stoudemire back into the rotation.
New York Knicks (33-30): New York had breezed through April with its only losses coming against the top three teams in the East. That was prior to Friday's game as Stoudemire (back) returned from a 13-game absence and the Knicks promptly suffered a 98-90 loss at Cleveland. New York will either face the Chicago Bulls or the Miami Heat in the first round, and Stoudemire will be a key to going up against the Bulls combination of Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah and the Heat’s Chris Bosh. Stoudemire scored 15 points in 27 minutes but the rest of the team looked flat one day after locking up a playoff berth. The Knicks dropped a 100-90 decision to Atlanta on March 30 despite 36 points from Carmelo Anthony.
Atlanta Hawks (38-25): Atlanta moved 1 ½ games ahead of Boston for home court advantage in the opening round with a 97-92 home triumph over the Celtics on Friday. The Hawks came away from the win with a bad taste in their mouths, however, as Boston sat all of its key players and Atlanta just barely managed to win. Joe Johnson scored 30 points in that contest and Josh Smith added 19 but no other player reached double figures. All-Star center Al Horford has started practicing with the team and hopes to be in shape for the playoffs. He may get some minutes in the last few regular season games.
Atlanta’s win on March 30 snapped a three-game losing streak in
2. Stoudemire has put up 23.1 points and 9.4 rebounds in 17 career games against the Hawks.
3. Atlanta finishes up with its last three games at home.
NBA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Hawks 102, Knicks 96
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