Knicks Preview: 5 Keys to Defeating Atlanta Hawks

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Oct 28, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center

Greg Monroe

(15) looks to shoot against New York Knicks center

Robin Lopez

(8) during the third quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

5. Rim Protection

After struggling to do much of anything defensively during the first half, the New York Knicks shut the paint down in the final two quarters. Greg Monroe poured in points early, but even he was silenced.

With the sharpshooting of the Atlanta Hawks in mind, New York cannot allow the opposition to develop an interior attack in Game 2.

Against the Bucks, New York’s defense allowed 38 points. That isn’t an excruciating amount, but Milwaukee routinely drew fouls, thus attempting 31 free throws.

If Al Horford or Paul Millsap get off to as hot of a start as Monroe did against the Knicks, there will be no turning back.

Unlike the Bucks, the Hawks are a team flush with shooters. If New York is forced to collapse the interior and double team either Horford or Millsap, Atlanta’s marksmen will feast.

Atlanta may not dominate the interior in the way Milwaukee attempts to, but it can get the entire offense going if Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis don’t control the paint.

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