The Atlanta Hawks seemingly got back on the right track with a 20-point win over the Washington Wizards on Thanksgiving night. Atlanta hopes to show that it was not a fluke when they take on the red-hot New York Knicks in a Saturday afternoon matinée at Madison Square Garden (1:00 PM, SportSouth, 97.9 FM).
Atlanta had much to be thankful for after righting much of what went wrong in their recent stretch in a 116-96 win over the Wizards on Thursday night at Philips Arena. Al Horford and Josh Smith were beasts on the boards and Joe Johnson found his long lost shot in the victory, which momentarily moved the Hawks (9-7) one-half game ahead of the Miami Heat (9-7) for second place in the Southeast Division standings. The Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers to claw back into a tie on Friday night.
The Hawks will have their work cut out for them if they want to catapult back into sole possession of second place in the division. New York is playing its best basketball in years, winning five straight games entering their matchup against Atlanta. All five of those games have been against teams with sub-.500 records.
New York must beat their first above-.500 team in that stretch if the Knick wants to get to their first six-game winning streak since Jan. 2-13, 2006.
Forward Amare Stoudemire has lead the way for the 8-8 Knicks, averaging 25.8 points and 8.6 rebounds during the streak. They will have to beat a Hawks team that boasts an Eastern Conference-best 5-2 record on the road this season.
The Hawks are bound to have a chip on their shoulders when they face New York's basketball team. The Knicks took three of four against the Hawks last season.