The No. 4 seed New York Knicks return to the postseason after an eight-year absence and will face the No. 5 seed Atlanta Hawks in the first round. The crowd will be a factor for the Knicks, who are reportedly going to allow 13,000 fans at each home game. Here’s how both teams shape up going into the series, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
New York: -114
The odds show this series is essentially considered a toss-up, but the Hawks are very slight favorites. Julius Randle may be the best player in the series, averaging 24.1 points, 6.0 assists and 10.2 rebounds per game this season for the resurgent Knicks. Trae Young has paced the Hawks with 25.3 points and 9.4 assists per game. Head coaches Tom Thibodeau and Nate McMillan have plenty of postseason experience in what should be a fascinating matchup between two up-and-coming rosters.
Who will win the series?
This is an incredibly hard series to predict, as is the case with most 4-5 matchups. According to the series lines, the Knicks winning in seven games is the most likely outcome. However, the Hawks taking the series in six or seven games are almost equally likely. Atlanta has more depth and is well-equipped to attack New York’s stellar defense. They’ve also been on a tear since McMillan took over as coach, going 27-11 under his direction and entering the playoffs on a four-game win streak. The Hawks are the pick, but it will be a tight series.
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