It wasn’t the prettiest basketball game you’ll see, but the Atlanta Hawks came out on top of the New York Knicks in overtime on Wednesday. The contest was chippy throughout, with Knicks' star forward Carmelo Anthony committing a flagrant-two foul that led to his ejection after just ten minutes of play. Anthony elbowed Hawks' Thabo Sefolosha in the head when fighting for a rebound, and the replay center confirmed that it was indeed “excessive and unnecessary” contact.
The Hawks were unable to gain any sort of cushion after the ejection, with point guard Derrick Rose and big man Kristaps Porzingis taking over the offensive workload for the Knicks. The offense was once again an issue for Atlanta, who have really struggled since their hot 9-2 start to the season. The team shot just 7-27 from beyond the arc and just 36.3 percent overall, numbers that are simply not good enough in the long run. However, the Knicks were equally disastrous from the field in this one, allowing for a larger margin of error than usual.
The Schroder Show
Dennis Schroder continued his hot streak, leading all scorers with 27 points and dishing out five assists. He has really grown into the starting point guard role, which is encouraging if the Hawks want to distance themselves from the .500 line. The issues have come from the wing play, however, and it wasn’t great in this one. The aforementioned Sefolosha played solid defense but brought little to the table offensively minus a three-pointer late in the game. Kent Bazemore’s rough season continued with a 4-12 shooting night, and questions have started to arise suggesting last season was more of an outlier than the norm for him. Whether or not this is the case, his slump has hurt the Hawks in a big way, and they will continue to try to get him going soon.
Dwight Howard had a monster game on the boards, feasting on Knicks' Joakim Noah for 22 rebounds to go along with 16 points. Paul Millsap, usually the steady contributor, shot just 4-20 from the field but added seven rebounds and six assists.
Porzingis Comes Up Short
The 21-year-old budding star Porzingis went to the foul line with under five seconds to play, down three, with the chance to tie the game. He missed the first free throw, eventually leading to a Hawks victory. His potential was very evident in this game, however, where he scored 24 and pulled down eight rebounds. Rose took 28 shots, which translated to 26 points, but committed a key turnover in overtime as the Knicks attempted to win the game. Carmelo Anthony was definitely missed down the stretch, as he is notorious for having big games at Philips Arena in Atlanta. It was impressive that they were able to compete as hard as they did with their star player out.
The 16-15 Knicks are back in action on Friday night in New Orleans versus Anthony Davis and the Pelicans, who are coming off a big win against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The 16-16 Hawks host the Detroit Pistons on Friday as well, and will look to capitalize on a string of home games.