NBA Basketball

Hawks aim to extend Knicks' skid into All-Star break

(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce wants to see his young team finish the first portion of the season strong.

The New York Knicks, who visit the Hawks on Thursday in their final game before the All-Star break, simply want a win.

The Knicks (10-47) have the worst record in the NBA and have lost 18 straight, a single-season franchise record and two short of the 20-game streak that spanned the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons.

Two of New York's victories have come against Atlanta. The Knicks won the first meeting on opening day, blasting Atlanta 126-107 at Madison Square Garden, then came back three weeks later for a 112-107 victory in Atlanta. The Hawks won the third meeting 114-107 in New York on Dec. 21, the Knicks' fourth straight defeat in an eight-game skid.

New York dropped a 126-111 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. The Knicks nearly erased a 26-point, third-quarter deficit, drawing within six points on Luke Kornet's 3-pointer with 6:41 left, but they missed two succeeding chances to narrow the margin.

Despite the struggles, coach David Fizdale believes the team is headed in the right direction.

"I like what we're sitting on right now, and I'm excited for our future," he said prior to the Wednesday loss. "Some teams take longer to get there. It just depends on how all that stuff goes in the offseason."

The Knicks' top scorers lately are new arrivals.

Dennis Smith Jr. is averaging 16.6 points in six games since he was acquired from the Dallas Mavericks. Kadeem Allen, recalled from the G League late last month, is averaging 17.3 points over the past three games. Both Smith and Allen scored 13 against Philadelphia.

"Credit to (Westchester coach) Mike Miller and our G League staff for getting these guys ready," Fizdale said. "Every time those guys come up, they are ready to perform. Consistently that has happened for us every time we've bought a guy up."

Atlanta, in the middle of a rebuilding effort, has one of the youngest teams in the league and typically starts two rookies. Pierce said this portion of the schedule can be particularly daunting for a young team that continues to feel its way through the season.

"This is the scary part after the trade deadline," Pierce said. "We're trying to get ahead of the story by understanding this is what happens. Everyone hits a lull, and we're trying to find a way to avoid it. But we have to talk about it, be real about it. Normally everyone relaxes and feels good after the trade deadline. We relaxed too much."

The Hawks dropped three consecutive games overall and five straight home games before beating the LeBron Jones-led L.A. Lakers 117-114 on Tuesday. Atlanta played with more effort, something that was lacking in back-to-back listless losses to the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic last weekend.

"It's the effort, our approach, our activity to move the basketball," Pierce said.

Atlanta made a deeper commitment to its rebuilding earlier this week when it finalized a contract buyout with veteran point guard Jeremy Lin, who signed with the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. The move freed up payroll for the Hawks, but it means more responsibility for rookie Trae Young. DeAndre' Bembry and Kent Bazemore will be the backups there until rookie Jaylen Adams returns from an ankle injury.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 14, 2019

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Teams Score Time
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
Teams Score Time
Air Force   Fri 9:00pm
Boise State  
Utah   Fri 9:00pm
Boston College   Sat 12:00pm
California   Sat 12:00pm
Ole Miss  
Elon   Sat 12:00pm
Wake Forest  
LSU   Sat 12:00pm
Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Southern Mississippi   Sat 12:00pm
Tennessee   Sat 12:00pm
Western Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   Sat 3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   Sat 3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   Sat 3:30pm
Ohio State  
SMU   Sat 3:30pm
UCF   Sat 3:30pm
Washington   Sat 3:30pm
Central Michigan   Sat 4:00pm
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   Sat 7:00pm
Oregon   Sat 7:00pm
Charlotte   Sat 7:30pm
Oklahoma State   Sat 7:30pm
Notre Dame   Sat 8:00pm
Colorado   Sat 10:00pm
Arizona State  
UCLA   Sat 10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Seattle 6 F
Pittsburgh 5
San Francisco 4 F
Boston 5
American League
Los Angeles 1 F
New York 9
Toronto 8 F
Baltimore 4
Detroit 0 F
Cleveland 7
Kansas City 5 9th
Minnesota 8
National League
Philadelphia 4 F
Atlanta 5
San Diego 1 F
Milwaukee 5
St. Louis 5 F
Chicago 4
Teams Score Time
Tennessee 7 0:26 4th
Jacksonville 20
Atlanta   Sun 1:00pm
Baltimore   Sun 1:00pm
Kansas City  
Cincinnati   Sun 1:00pm
Denver   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
Detroit   Sun 1:00pm
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
New York   Sun 1:00pm
New England  
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Carolina   Sun 4:05pm
New York   Sun 4:05pm
Tampa Bay  
Houston   Sun 4:25pm
Los Angeles  
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Pittsburgh   Sun 4:25pm
San Francisco  
Los Angeles   Sun 8:20pm
Teams Score Time
Boston 3 F
Philadelphia 1
Columbus 1 F
Pittsburgh 4
Florida 4 F/SO
Montreal 5
Dallas 1 06:59 3rd
Colorado 1
Vancouver 5 08:08 3rd
Edmonton 1
Vegas 0 00:00 1st
Los Angeles 0
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 24
2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
3 2 Brad Keselowski 18
4 9 Chase Elliott 8
5 12 Ryan Blaney 23
6 88 Alex Bowman 19
7 24 William Byron 14
8 42 Kyle Larson 15
9 22 Joey Logano 22
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9