No Joe? No Al? Marvin, we need this from you. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

2/22 Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks Game Day Preview

Who?: Atlanta Hawks (6th in East) vs. New York Knicks (7th in East)

When?: February 22nd, 2012; 7:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Where?: Madison Square Garden (New York City, NY)

How?: SportSouth HD (TV) & 680 AM (93.7 radio)

Other Atlanta Hawks Coverage: Atlanta Hawks Fan Site, AJC Blog, Peachtree Hoops (SB Nation), Hoopinion (TrueHoop)

Fansided’s New York Knick Blog : Buckets Over Broadway

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Projected Starting Lineups:

Atlanta Hawks:

PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Tracy McGrady* | C: Zaza Pachulia | PF: Josh Smith | SF: Marvin Williams

*Actually wrong. Willie Green will replace Joe Johnson in starting lineup.

New York Knicks:

PG: Jeremy Lin | SG: Landry Fields | C: Tyson Chandler | PF: Amare Stoudemire | SF: Carmelo Anthony

Injury Report:

Atlanta: Al Horford (left pectoral surgery) and Jason Collins (sprained left elbow) are out. Joe Johnson is out for next two games and All-Star game because of left knee tendinitis.

New York: Iman Shumpert (left patella tendinitis) and Bill Walker (sore left elbow) are doubtful. Josh Harrellson (fractured right wrist) is out.

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Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold:

Records: The Atlanta Hawks are (19-13) and the New York Knicks are (16-17).

Streak: The Hawks are riding a 2 game losing streak, and the Knicks are on a 1 game losing streak.

Away/Home: The Hawks are (10-8) on the road, and the Knicks are (9-9) at home.

Atlanta Hawks- Cold. The Hawks have lost 7 out of their last 10 games, and Joe Johnson and Al Horford are out with injuries. Yeah, they’re as cold as Reggie Miller’s veins are in the clutch.

New York Knicks- Pretty hot. They’ve lost 2 out of their last 3 games, but in their last 10 games, they are 8-2. “Linsanity” is the talk of the NBA for a reason.

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Season/Past Season Series:

This will be first of three games between the two teams this season, the only one in Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks and Hawks split last season’s series 2-2, each winning once at home and once on the road. The Hawks won the first two games of the series, but the Knicks took the last two games.

Game Preview:

The Atlanta Hawks road trip will end in Linsanity Town, Madison Square Garden.

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty excited for this game. I’m a big fan of Jeremy Lin, and I get to see him in full action tonight going against the team I follow, the Atlanta Hawks.

Does that mean I’m rooting for the Knicks to win? Of course not. I’m still rooting for the Hawks to win the game, but I am hoping Jeremy Lin will put on a show tonight. In a perfect world, Jeremy Lin scores 100 points but Hawks still win.

Anyway, the Hawks will be without their two All-stars (from last season), Al Horford and Joe Johnson. Also, the Hawks right now are one of the coldest teams in the league and the Knicks are one of the hottest teams in the league. So coming into this game, it’s already not looking good for the Hawks. The Hawks have already lost 7 out of their last 10 games, and from the looks of it, it looks like they’ll lose 8 out of their last 11.

Do they have a shot? Of course, the Hawks always have a shot. That’s just how they are, you can’t count them out against any opponent. But if I were a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on the Hawks winning (Hawks are 7 point underdogs in point spread though…).

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3 Things I’m Looking Out For:

  • Josh Smith.  A lot of the pressure will be on Josh Smith’s shoulders tonight. He’s the last and lone team captain standing, so a good performance by him is definitely needed. Plus, he got snubbed again. Josh Smith has said in the past that he doesn’t use “being snubbed” as motivation, but I don’t know, Josh Smith just doesn’t seem like the guy who will let that kind of thing go. He might be looking to make a statement tonight. Give us a quintuple double Smoove.
  • Ball movement. Like I already said, the Hawks will be without their go to scorer, Joe Johnson, tonight. That means, the Hawks have no go to scorer tonight. If the Hawks were to win this game, it has to be because of their ball movement and good contribution from multiple players tonight. I don’t think the Hawks have an active player tonight that can single-handedly carry this team offensively, so ball movement has to be existent if the Hawks want a chance to win this game. If any player tries to play “hero basketball”, this game could get ugly quickly.
  • LINSANITY. You can’t watch a Knicks game and not be watching or looking out for how Jeremy Lin will perform that game. “Linsanity” is the NBA’s version of “Tebow Mania”. Even if you’re not a fan of Jeremy Lin (or Tim Tebow), you can’t help but watch to see how they perform. We always tune in to their games to see if they can live up to the hype. It’s no different tonight. Will Jeremy Lin score another 38 points? Will he post another double double? Maybe Teague will pull a Deron Williams and light up Jeremy Lin…you just never know.

  • EXTRA! We can’t talk about the Knicks and not talk about the two Mike’s now can we? Hawks will get to face and see Mike Woodson, now an assistant coach behind D’antoni, and Mike Bibby, 4th string point guard of the Knicks, tonight. Hopefully they didn’t give too many of the Hawks’ secrets.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Jeremy Lin Josh Smith Marvin Williams New York Knicks

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