Originally posted on All Sports Everything  |  Last updated 4/3/13
WHO: Knicks (47-26) vs Hawks (42-33) WHEN: 7PM/ET on ESPN W2W4: Bravo Melo!  Dropping 50 points against any team is an elite and celebratory feat.  Critics may want to belittle it because LeBron James nor Dwyane Wade played, but I loved it even more for that exact reason.  The sight of James and Wade looking helpless and pissed while Melo went on a shooting spree, on their court, brought immense joy to my life.  It was an outstanding performance by Melo and further indicative that the Knicks have indeed forgotten about their bad stretch of games a couple of weeks ago. Instead, they’re moving full steam ahead plowing over teams in the process. Moving onto tonight’s game against the Hawks…it’s the second game of a back-to-back for the Knicks.  No matter how fatigued or hype they might be after last night, they must move on.  It’s a new day and a new opponent awaits. It’s time to focus on beating the Hawks.  The Easter Conference’s current fifth seed has been a bit inconsistent lately, going 6-4 in their last 10 games.  But that’s no reason to sleep on them.  The first and only meeting between the Hawks and Knicks, back in January, was competitive until the final buzzer.  The Knicks ultimately pulled off the victory, but it took 42 points from Melo to do it. Quietly, the Hawks have a solid trio of their own that goes largely unrecognized — Josh Smith (17.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg), Al Horford (17.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg), and Jeff Teague (14.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg). Together, these players have established a team chemistry that allows them to matchup well against almost any team in the league.  As a center, Horford is extremely athletic which is problematic for opponents.  He’s extremely efficient from the field, shooting 54% this season.  Tyson Chandler is undecided about playing tonight which means Kenyon Martin may be tasked with keeping Horford in check. Josh Smith and Melo will probably go at it all night.  However, if Smith has any hope of slowing Melo down he’ll have to do a better job of defending him around the perimeter, and that’s a weak spot in Smith’s game.  Last night, none of Melo’s 50 points came inside the paint. Scoring off the pick-n-roll, Melo has established himself as a legitimate threat from outside.  And double teaming won’t help because at any given time, Melo can dish it out to Steve Novak, J.R. Smith, or even Iman Shumpert. And finally, the Hawks’ backcourt of Jeff Teague and Devin Harris will put the Knicks’ transition defense to the test.  They’re both quick, aggressive guards who like to accelerate and drive to the basket.  Last night, the Knicks forced Norris Cole into seven turnovers.  They’ll need to do more of that tonight against the Hawks to prevent them from getting off to a fast start. PREDICTION: The Knicks are playing with an unbeatable confidence lately.  I think it’ll be another close finish, but ultimately, Knicks win. NEXT GAME: NY Knicks @ Milwaukee Bucks:  Friday @ 730PM/ET, MSG -@sdotrenee photo via espn.com
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Broncos negotiating deal with Malik Jackson

Michael Jordan wants Warriors to break Bulls record

Joe Mauer says concussions have affected his hitting

Kobe once tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to Lakers

Report: Broncos waiting on Manning to talk with Osweiler

NBA commish wants to look into hack-a-player issue

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jose Fernandez has 'soured' on Marlins brass

Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Strength coach gives Georgia OL reality check about weather

Country singer wears Fournette LSU jersey after losing bet

Carrie Underwood trolls Ryan Johansen for kissing stick

DeMarcus Cousins on looking angry: 'I'm an ugly dude'

WATCH: Dustin Johnson's son steals Jordan Spieth's club

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker