Following the Zion Show last night at the Garden, the Knicks are back to face another single-digit win-column team, the Atlanta Hawks.

Who: New York Knicks (9-24) vs. Atlanta Hawks (7-23)

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

When: Friday, December 21, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. EST

In a battle between two of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks are back in action Friday night as they host the Atlanta Hawks. 

Here’s what to look for in tonight’s episode of Friday Night Knicks. 


 

Lottery Pick Implications

In a contest between two bottom feeders of the Eastern Conference, the real winner might actually be the loser of this game. Tonight’s contest could have a big impact on the order of the 2019 NBA Draft in a season with wins coming scarcely for both squads. With a win, the Knicks would move three games ahead of the Hawks, further distancing themselves from a top pick.

However, with a loss, the Knicks’ record is separated by just one game, keeping them alive in the race for Zion. 

Fort Knox 

In December, Kevin Knox seems to have found his groove. Over his past six games, the rookie has averaged 19.7 points and 6.7 rebounds. In Wednesday night’s matchup vs. the 76ers, Knox posted 21 points and six rebounds on 8-of-17 shooting from the field. With Knox scoring at least 15 points in his past six contests, keep an eye on him tonight to see if he can continue his hot streak. 

Youth Movement x2 

Tonight’s matchup showcases two of the youngest teams in the NBA. Although both sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference record-wise, this matchup possesses some of the NBA’s future talent. Up against the Knicks youngsters, the Hawks will play their young core of John Collins and Trae Young, who are the top two leading scorers on this young Atlanta squad. With both teams embracing the youth movement, it should be an exciting and fast-paced game featuring two of the NBA’s youngest teams. 

Linsanity Returns

Although averaging just 10.8 points and 3.1 assists per game as a role-player, Jeremy Lin will return to the Garden in tonight’s matchup. Per usual, expect a standing ovation for Lin when he checks into the game, as Knicks fans will never forget Linsanity. Though short-lived, Lin’s 2012 run was one of the greatest mini-eras of basketball in Knicks history. 

Injury Report

The Knicks are dealing with various ailments including Tim Hardaway Jr.’s plantar fasciitis (despite the 26-year-old’s scoring performance on Wednesday in Philly), injuries to Allonzo Trier and Mitchell Robinson, and the damaged nose to second-year center Luke Kornet. This post will be updated upon news of these players’ status for Friday.