2021 NBA Playoffs: East First Round – (4) New York Knicks vs (5) Atlanta Hawks

Where should the money go?

Schedule and Results








Game 1:
ATL leads 1-0


7:00 PM EST


Hawks - 107
Knicks - 105

Game 2:
Series tied 1-1


7:30 PM EST


Hawks -  92
Knicks - 101

Game 3:
ATL leads 2-1


7:00 PM EST


Knicks - 94
Hawks -  105

Game 4:
ATL leads 3-1


1:00 PM EST


Knicks - 96
Hawks -  113

Game 5:
ATL wins series 4-1


7:30 PM ET


Hawks -  103
Knicks - 89

East First Round – (4) New York Knicks vs (5) Atlanta Hawks – Series preview

(4) New York Knicks

Did anyone expect the Knicks to be winning anything over 20 games in the shortened 70 game season? Probably not a lot of you but hell, here we are! I am all for it let’s go Knicks nation! Enter in Tom Thibodeau and the second season of Julius Randle in a Knicks uniform.

The Knicks are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this season and that isn’t surprising being led by Thibodeau. New York’s ability to stand out all season long was by becoming a gritty defensive team that leans on Randle to put them over the top in the close moments.

Derrick Rose joined the Knicks in a midseason trade and the reunion with Thibbs from their Chicago days reincarnated some brief success in New York. The biggest question for the Knicks in this series is going to be point guard play. Defensively, the Knicks are going to be tested by Trae Young’s ability to penetrate and get into the paint. Depending on how well they defend this the sky is the limit for the Knicks in this series.

(5) Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks are a feel-good story for the league. After starting the season with Head Coach Lloyd Pierce and finishing with Nate McMillan the coaching change WORKED! Atlanta locks up the 5th seed after a slow start to their season. In their final eight regular season games, they went 7-1.

Trae Young finally gets his first stab at the playoffs in his third year (and perhaps a year he may have been snubbed as an All-Star). He averages 8.7 free throw attempts per game and this could be a point to watch if he’s able to get into the interior of the Knicks on defense.

Lastly, the bright spot for the Hawks is that their best player Young averaged 24.7 points, 12.0 assists, and 2.3 rebounds in 3 games versus the Knicks this season. Currently, the Hawks are running a 4-game win streak into the Playoffs and one of the better teams in the month of May and 7-3 in their last 10 games.

Top players to watch

Julius Randle – 2020-2021 season

  • 24.1 PPG
  • 10.2 RPG
  • 6.0 APG

Trae Young: 2020-2021 season

  • 25.3 PPG
  • 3.9 RPG
  • 9.4 APG

Why do the New York Knicks Suck?

2017 New York Knicks: What are you Doing?

On Tuesday, May 10th, 1973 The New York Knickerbockers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in game 5 of the NBA Finals. Willis Reed, of the New York Knicks, would be named MVP of the series, and NY the Mecca of basketball brought another title home. That day was over 40 years ago.

We haven’t had any success since. And to make it worse, when things are looking like they could get better, everything crumbles at our feet, and sometimes ankles. Whether it be having a promising team in the 90’s that reached the finals only to be heart crushingly defeated. Or to have lived through the last decade of being a Knicks Fan and having to watch us hobble through every season, the Knicks have been a tragedy.

Now it’s 2017, going into 2018. 45 years since our last banner day, where are the Knicks now?


There’s a rule in the NBA that bad teams get the better lottery picks and then they either use those for drafting or trade them for established stars. It makes sense. Worse off teams get to parley their positions using scarce resources. Cool. I don’t think the Knicks got this memo.

For the last several years, the NY Knicks used their draft picks on risky foreign talent. Kristaps Porzingis has panned out. Name anyone else that did? I’ll wait until you look at another team’s roster to tell me if they have because it’s almost a guarantee they’re not a NY Knick anymore.

Kristaps Porzingis in a home jersey

Please save us

I can’t remember the last NY Knick draft pick to pan out while on the roster. These struggles came in a decade when NY and lottery were more associated than FL and the lottery. Just this year we spent 71 million dollars bringing back Tim Hardaway when we were the team that drafted him. Had we kept him and developed him along with Kristaps, maybe we’d have a better outlook going forward. Sadly, James Dolan doesn’t think like that.

Managment Doesn’t Care

Last off-season the Knicks started off by the signing of two cast off former Bulls, Derrick Rose, and  Joakim Noah. Both are injury laden, and their production mirrored it. Rose has set sail to Cleveland, but we still have Noah’s massive contract on the board. Bad contracts are a reoccurring problem you will see with bad teams, even worse contracts.

Usually for a team to take on bad contracts, they trade for them or have used leverage to make the deal come out at least even. Again, NY never got this memo. We sign players past their prime or when no one else wants them. These signings also always seem to coincide with having to get rid of younger talent at the hope of getting value out of a bad deal.

Dolan only seems to be interested in keeping the Knicks profitable. The arbitrary signing of aging and non-coherent superstars are doing nothing for the team, or it’s W column. The Phil Jackson fiasco just goes to show the interest of the team is never at the forefront for Dolan. I’m not going to pretend to know the ins and outs of the team, but it was obvious The Knicks gave Phil Jackson way more leeway than he should. Especially with such a drastic overhaul being tried by him. And then Jackson was given the boot.

I’m not complaining out Jackson’s particular firing, but it goes towards Dolan’s lack of commitment to a plan and his lack of forethought into it. The Jackson and Carmelo feud should not have been public, and that’s partially the higher ups to blame. Cohesion starts at the top.

Horrible Moves Have Left us in the Dog House

Take the Carmelo Anthony trade for instance. At the time Carmelo was at the head of the NBA, and he was at a justifiably high price. To be acquired reasonably. Carmelo, with his greatness, is not the complete two-way player that you can hang both sides of the ball’s hat on.

At the time we had a cast of great role players including Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov. Now while the NBA may have evolved past the latter, the two formers are still producing in the current NBA environment. Had we just waited to acquire Carmelo instead of paying his ransom, we’d be looking at an entirely different team right now.

This problem only becomes exacerbated when former Knicks players are wearing gold around their fingers these past few seasons. J.R. Smith, Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert, David Lee, and Channing Frye have all been pieces on championship teams, and all are former Knicks. All these players only recently left the NY Knicks as well. If other teams could get value out of them, why couldn’t we?

The Future

What does the future hold for the NY Knicks? I don’t know, but it doesn’t look bright. Our lack of draft picks along with a lack of any game plan are not attractive qualities moving forward. It would appear we’re just going to ride out the Carmelo era that started with promise but is now deteriorating before our eyes. But maybe not all things will be bad this year. Maybe our savior has arrived in a dark, unmarked hoodie.

But not all things will be bad this year. Kristaps will continue to develop into the monster he will become. Rumors are going around that management doesn’t like the idea of Hardaway and Melo together, but they could gel into something special. Carmelo has and will always be an exceptional offensive talent. He can be unstoppable at times, and the NY Knicks will need him the most this season. There have been some clues he’s ready to bear that burden this season. So just maybe our promised savior has arrived in a dark, unmarked hoodie.

Carmelo Anthony under a black hoodie

The Dark Knight has Risen

Until next time, fellow Knicks fans.

Markus X. Murden

Senior-Editor/Depressed Knicks Fan

Follow Markus on Twitter and Instagram @MXMurden