The Atlanta Hawks (15-16) will travel to take on the New York Knicks (14-18) on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden. Tipoff is set for 12:00 p.m. ET. The Hawks are coming off a narrow 98-96 upset over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, pulling out a win even without Trae Young, who is out due to COVID-19 protocols. The Knicks just lost 124-117 to the Wizards at home on Thursday, and will look to bounce back against the Hawks.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Knicks favored by 5.5 points, priced at -220 on the moneyline. Atlanta is at +180 and the point total is set at 211.5.
Both teams are missing players due to COVID-19 protocols, though the Hawks are hit a little harder with their bigger players forced out. Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Sharife Cooper, Danilo Gallinari, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Lou Williams are all in protocols for Atlanta. Cam Reddish and Delon Wright both picked up ankle injuries and are day-to-day, though they both played in the win over the 76ers.
On the Knicks side, they’ll be without Immanuel Quickley, Kevin Knox, Miles McBride, and Nerlens Noel due to COVID-19 protocols. RJ Barrett missed five games due to protocols as well, but was held out of the Wizards game due to conditioning, so his status is a bit up in the air ahead of the clash with the Hawks. On top of all that, they’ll also be without Derrick Rose, who underwent ankle surgery and is out at least eight weeks.
Update — Clint Capela is available to play vs. the Knicks after clearing COVID protocols.
Hawks vs. Knicks, 12:00 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Knicks -5.5 (-110)
Without Young and Capela on the floor for Atlanta, both their offense and defense take a huge hit. Those two are the best producers for the Hawks on both ends of the court as Young is averaging 27.3 points and 9.3 assists per game this season, and Capela averages 12.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. Sure, Atlanta got the job done against Philly, but none of their players even hit 20 points, and Joel Embiid had a relatively quiet night as well.
The Knicks still have plenty of firepower, as Kemba Walker went off for 44 points against the Wizards on Thursday, followed by Julius Randle with 23 and Alec Burks with 20. With Atlanta missing so many players that contribute to their offense, take the home side to win and cover.
Over/Under: Under 211.5 (-110)
Again, without Young on the court, the Hawks will be missing a ton of points, as was shown in their 98-point performance against Philadelphia on Thursday. They should still be able to play some decent defense, but the under seems like the safe play in this one.
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