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New York Knicks Vs. Atlanta Hawks: Hawks Look To Beat Best Team Ever To Beat The Miami Heat*

The New York Knicks are back.  Did you hear? The New York Knicks are back.  They beat the Boston Celtics and now, they even slayed the Miami Heat.  Yes, the Heat.  TNT loves LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.  ESPN loves Amare Stoudemire.  The American public loves Amare, too.  They rewarded the Knicks star with an All-Star Game start -- the first for the franchise since 1992.

And those Knicks, they just don't lose anymore (except those pesky 21 times that they actually were ungood and some other team was better that night).  But they beat the Heat! And they are 24-21! And they have Amare! Those Atlanta Hawks don't know what's coming on Friday night.

Who actually needs to play the game?  Just chalk up another loss, Hawks fans!  It's automatic!

Atlanta, of course, is coming off of a home beatdown of the likes that they've never seen before.  They scored a whopping 59 points in their last game at Philips Arena and lost by 41 to the New Orleans Hornets.  (They're definitely not the New York Knicks).

The Hawks shot just 29.1-percent in that game and set an Atlanta franchise record with the loss for fewest points scored.  Yep folks, since moving here in 1968.  That's a long time.  The Knicks even won a championship since then.

However, Al Horford missed that game and Atlanta was anemic in the middle. The big man is back -- he returned in Atlanta's uncharacteristic 98-90 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday and should be fully ready when the Hawks take on the juggernauts from the Garden with no flowers over a railroad station that takes folks to LonG-I-land (it's one word to those NYers) and the Jersey Shore.

Joe Johnson is no stranger to this much hyped non-rivalry between the Hawks and the Knicks.  He has been very good against the Knickerbockers at Philips Arena, averaging nearly 27 points a game here since 2005.  Atlanta is also coming off of a 99-90 win over the Knicks the last time these two teams met at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 27. Former Knick Jamal Crawford lead the way with 21 points.

But that was before the Knicks beat, shocked, destroyed, demolished and humiliated the Heat with a 93-88 win on Thursday.  It was a big, huge, gigantic, monumental five-point win by the best 24-21 team in the Association over a 82-0, 76-6, 72-10, 68-14 Chris Bosh-less Miami team.  Miami has failed 14 times since James took his services to South Beach.  But none of those failures have come against a three-games above .500 Knicks team. Until now.  

Stoudemire had 24 points and rookie Larry Fields had 19 points and 13 rebounds for New York, which leads the league in road scoring.

The Hawks should be scared. Very scared.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.