Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 1/27/13
Atlanta Hawks (25-18) vs. New York Knicks (26-15) 6:30 p.m./ESPN Both the Hawks and the Knicks are on hard times a bit right now. The Knicks recent swoon has allowed the Nets to get back into the division race. And the Hawks? Atlanta has struggled a lot after a surprising hot start and now are not nearly as good as initially thought. The only saving grace for Atlanta seems to be that the team keeps playing struggling teams. Not even a 27-point lead was safe for Boston at Philips Arena on Friday. The Hawks were sure to get a big boost of confidence from that game. That might be bad news for the Knicks in this one. New York got pummeled in Philadelphia on Saturday night, ruining the much-awaited return of Raymond Felton. Felton's return should provide a boost as he was playing extremely well before his injury derailed his season. And the Knicks have Iman Shumpert back and working his way to full strength. That still does not change things for the Knicks. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games and have seen that comfortable division lead over the Nets shrink. Similarly though, Atlanta is 5-5 in their last 10 games. But the Hawks have won their last three games. Perhaps the Hawks have turned the corner. That would be bad news for the Knicks. Other Storylines to Watch -Iman Shumpert told the New York Post that he believes the Knicks are a championship contender. With so few teams in contention out of the East, it is hard not to agree somewhat with that thought. Here is the rub though, the Knicks have not been out of the first round in more than a decade and so Shumpert admits that the first hurdle for this team is to accomplish that goal. -Josh Smith was once again snubbed from the All-Star team. Smith has put up solid stats this year -- 16.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game -- but his stats are lower than they have been in year past. Really, it seemed like he should have been the team representative for a good Hawks team. That did not stop Smith from claiming he is a max player when he hits free agency this summer. Tonight's Other Games Miami Heat (28-12) vs. Boston Celtics (20-23) 1 p.m./ABC Ray Allen will play his first game back in Boston today after spurning Boston's offer to return and taking less money to chase a title in Miami. I would imagine the Celtics faithful will not be so friendly to their former sharpshooter. Allen though will be in those familiar haunts early getting his shots up. Allen is shooting 44.3 percent from beyond the arc and averaging 11.4 points per game off the bench for Miami. Oklahoma City Thunder (34-10) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (18-25) 3:30 p.m./ABC Kobe Bryant did something odd in Friday's win over Utah. He passed the ball, recording 14 assists to go with 14 points. Mike D'Antoni compared the performance to Oscar Robertson. One thing is clear, the Lakers will start and end with Kobe Bryant. And when he is playing well -- whether it be with his scoring or with his playmaking and passing -- the Lakers remain a very very difficult team to beat. So making Kobe Bryant inefficient appears to be the key to keeping the Lakers reeling. Detroit Pistons (16-27) vs. Orlando Magic (14-28) 6 p.m. Rob Hennigan spoke with the paper from his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts explaining the thinking of the Dwight Howard trade. It is a trade that has turned out pretty poorly for just about every team involved (Denver is playing pretty well and Andre Iguodala has worked out fine). The Magic though made a nice find in Nikola Vucevic. Although the record certainly has suggested the expected massive fall. New Orleans Hornets (14-29) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (28-14) 6 p.m. People seem to be warming up to the Pelicans nickname. Much like the extremely bland Thunder, the nickname appears to be more of a talking point than something that actually matters. But the early reviews of the Pelicans are that the logo is great and that it actually fits the region and is something that could do a lot of good for a community constantly fighting back. Good job, Tom Benson. Phoenix Suns (15-29) vs. Dallas Mavericks (18-25) 7:30 p.m. There is still a fair amount of controversy regarding Phoenix's promotion of Lindsey Hunter to interim head coach after Alvin Gentry and the team decided to part ways. Dan Majerle and Elston Turner also resigned with Gentry after being passed over for Hunter. The reason? New York Daily News reports the reason might have been that Hunter was a little too cozy with management. The report says Hunter was removeed from practice because Gentry suspected Hunter was "spying" on him for management. Great way to start a relationship, right? Portland Trail Blazers (22-21) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (32-13) 9:30 p.m. It has been really interesting watching Lamar Odom this year. After a season lost in his own discontent in Dallas, Odom has rediscovered himself somewhat in Los Angeles (again) for the Clippers. Sure his shooting percentage is not the best -- 37.4 percent from the floor -- and he is not scoring a lot. But Los Angeles has like what the team has seen from him. He is starting to regain some of his old form. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Lawyer who litigated against NFL: Brady plays every game

Cowboys should sign interested RB Steven Jackson

Jameis Winston confirmed as Buccaneers starting QB

Russell Wilson contract increases likelihood of change

Jim Harbaugh has interesting name for rival Ohio State

Jimmy Garoppolo: the most interesting QB in the world

San Francisco Giants: impact of adding Mike Leake

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

RB signed by Chiefs day after tweeting them highlight video

Evgeni Malkin had real penguins at his birthday party

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Jonathan Papelbon thinks he became ‘scapegoat’ for Phillies

Padres don’t sell at trade deadline, reportedly because AJ Preller still believes in team

First photos of Jason Pierre-Paul’s injured hand emerge

Stop kvetching about Notre Dame, please

Rebuttal banner supporting Tom Brady flies over Pats practice

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

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

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