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    Atlanta Hawks Game thread: New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks 12/25/2021 12:00pm [Game #33]





    (15-16) -- (14-18)

    Venue TV TIME
    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY ESPN, MSG 12:00 PM EST



    Probable starters:







    Injury Report

    Atlanta Hawks New York Knicks
    Onyeka Okongwu - Medical protocols (OUT) Derrick Rose - Ankle surgery (OUT)
    Wesley Iwundu - Medical protocols (OUT) RJ Barrett - Conditioning (QUEST)
    Cam Reddish - Right ankle sprain (PROB) Miles McBride - COVID-19 (OUT)
    Delon Wright - Left ankle sprain (PROB) Nerlens Noel - Medical protocols - (OUT)
    Sharife Cooper - Medical protocols (OUT) -
    Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot - Medical protocols (OUT) -
    Kevin Huerter - Medical protocols (OUT) -
    Lou Williams - Medical protocols (OUT) -
    Danilo Gallinari - Medical protocols (OUT) -
    Trae Young - Medical protocols (OUT) -
    Solomon Hill - Medical protocols (OUT) -
    De'Andre Hunter - Medical protocols (OUT) -


    Game Preview

    The New York Knicks might have discovered a most unexpected holiday gift in the resurgent Kemba Walker.

    Yet, it'll be easier for the Knicks to enjoy the return to form of the former All-Star point guard if they can also rediscover their defensive identity.

    The Knicks will look to begin regaining their defensive prowess Saturday afternoon, when they host the Atlanta Hawks in a Christmas Day matinee.

    Both teams were off Friday after playing on the East Coast on Thursday night, when Walker's 44 points went for naught as the host Knicks fell to the Washington Wizards 124-117 and the visiting Hawks overcame a spate of absences to edge the Philadelphia 76ers, 98-96.

    Walker scored 36 points in the middle two quarters Thursday on his way to finishing with his most points in a game since Dec. 11, 2019, when he also scored 44 points for the Boston Celtics against the Indiana Pacers.

    The dramatic return from Tom Thibodeau's doghouse -- Walker was a healthy scratch for nine straight games before returning to the lineup Dec. 18, when the Knicks were missing six players due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols -- might have become a Jeremy Lin-esque tale Thursday if not for New York's defensive breakdowns against the Wizards, who shot 63.6 percent from the field in the second half, including 56.3 percent (9 of 16) from 3-point land.

    "He played a monster game but we came out with a loss, so it's a shame to waste that type of effort with a game like that," Thibodeau said. "When you're short-handed like we are right now, we can't afford not to play with great intensity on every possession. So that's where we are."

    Both the Knicks and Hawks are enduring short-handed stretches in the midst of COVID-19 outbreaks. New York played Thursday without Kevin Knox, Miles McBride, Nerlens Noel and Immanuel Quickley, all of whom were in health and safety protocols, as well as RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes, who were activated from the COVID-19 list but were still building their conditioning.

    Barrett practiced with the Knicks on Friday and could be available against the Hawks with Thibodeau saying, "We'll see how he feels tomorrow, and go from there."

    Point guard Derrick Rose is also out indefinitely after undergoing ankle surgery Wednesday.

    The Hawks had nine players on the COVID-19 list Friday after Wesley Iwundu and Onyeka Okongwy were added. The list includes star point guard Trae Young as well as point guard Sharife Cooper, who tested positive Thursday.

    But Atlanta, with a lineup featuring just one regular starter in John Collins and four other players who entered Thursday with a combined 70 NBA starts, raced out to a 19-point lead before overcoming a late deficit in the fourth quarter, when Bogdan Bogdanovic scored the Hawks' final 10 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 2:51 left.

    "We needed it desperately," Bogdanovic said. "Tough times. It's crazy."

    Quickley is out of protocols for the Knicks and should be eligible to play Saturday. Multiple outlets reported Friday that Young isn't expected to be cleared for the game.

    The Knicks are playing on Christmas Day for an NBA-high 54th time and the first time since 2018, when they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks, 109-95.

    No other NBA team that has played on Christmas has gone longer between Dec. 25 appearances than the Hawks, who are playing on the holiday for the 20th time but the first time since 1989, when they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-104.

    Game preview courtesy of:
    --Field Level Media

    (STATS / cbssports.com)

  2. #2
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    Merry Christmas everybody. Hope everyone's enjoying the holidays!
    Knicks lead 30-21 with Randle missing 2 free throws before the end of the first quarter. Grimes already with two threes.

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    Fournier lighting up the Garden with 10 straight points for the Knicks, 61-51.

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    Maybe one of the craziest turnarounds for a player in NBA history. Kemba Walker went from being benched earlier in the season to putting up only the 10th triple double on Christmas day in NBA history.

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    How does Knox not play??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Raider View Post
    How does Knox not play??
    Knox and Quickley were both off the COVID list, but neither was active for today’s game because of how long they’ve been away from the team.

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iZVlM4LhDI


    Kemba said he was afraid to step on toes in the beginning of the season. He got a triple double on Christmas day, sure it was against a weak Atlanta team, but Knicks did what they had to do. It's good to see the team playing together. Grimes can be a potential Klay and steal of the draft. He has a very quick release, even showing some passing and defense. Once McBride comes...we can have two ready rookies enhance our depth and play on both ends.
    ?

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    In the last 4 games Kemba Walker has played 160 minutes and has committed 4 turnovers. He's also averaging over 8 rebounds per game at 5"11. Kinda crazy how efficient he's been on the boards and limiting mistakes, tight handles and ball security at it's highest level here. Helps the flow of the offense so much.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by htr10 View Post
    Knox and Quickley were both off the COVID list, but neither was active for today’s game because of how long they’ve been away from the team.
    Knox was clear before the game. He was sitting on the bench.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metrocard View Post
    In the last 4 games Kemba Walker has played 160 minutes and has committed 4 turnovers. He's also averaging over 8 rebounds per game at 5"11. Kinda crazy how efficient he's been on the boards and limiting mistakes, tight handles and ball security at it's highest level here. Helps the flow of the offense so much.
    The Hawks were without all 3 of their PG for the Christmas game, matter of fact 2/3 of the Hawks players were out.
    And the Knicks only had 1 PG for the Christmas game.
    The Knicks PG Kemba Walker were force to play 40 minutes of playing-time giving the Knicks a triple-double (10 pts 10 rbs and 12 Dimes) in a Christmas game.
    I was mostly impressed with Kemba giving out 12 assist.
    When was the last time PG Kemba gave out double-digit assist? WOW !!!
    Oh yeah, the Knicks shot 85 FG attempts for the game, and 50 of those FG shots were 3-ball attempts, hitting 20 out of the 50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Raider View Post
    Knox was clear before the game. He was sitting on the bench.
    He may have been sitting on the bench, but he had been ruled out before the game. It’s getting talked a lot about online. Guys miss 10 days of practice because of COVID protocols, even when off the COVID list, coaches are given them time to get ready to play before making them active for games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by htr10 View Post
    He may have been sitting on the bench, but he had been ruled out before the game. It’s getting talked a lot about online. Guys miss 10 days of practice because of COVID protocols, even when off the COVID list, coaches are given them time to get ready to play before making them active for games.
    Not trying to start anything…
    But was both Knox and RJ released about the same time? So didn’t RJ miss more practice than Knox? He played but Knox was rule out but cleared.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Raider View Post
    Not trying to start anything…
    But was both Knox and RJ released about the same time? So didn’t RJ miss more practice than Knox? He played but Knox was rule out but cleared.
    Yeah. RJ had a tweet in support of someone else saying how hard it was to play after missing all that time. In retrospect, probably RJ should have been held out too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by htr10 View Post
    Yeah. RJ had a tweet in support of someone else saying how hard it was to play after missing all that time. In retrospect, probably RJ should have been held out too.
    Health is more important than playing a game.

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