Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks caught fire in game 3, defeating the New York Knicks 105-94. Game 3 was an absolute disaster for the Knicks at Phillips Arena in Atlanta. The Knicks shot just 35 percent from the field and 30 percent from three. Meanwhile, the Hawks shot 51 percent from the field and an absurd 59 percent from three. The Knicks were also out-assisted 28-14 and outplayed overall. The game was close in the first half until the Hawks, unbelievable shotmaking put the game away midway through the third quarter. The Knicks look to bounce back in game 4 on Sunday.
Trae Young masterfully dissected the Knicks defense all night long. Young put up 21 points and dished out 14 assists. Throughout the game, Young was able to exploit mismatches offensively by scoring against bigger defenders. Towards the end of the game, the Knicks started to double-team Young, but the star guard was able to find open teammates. None of Young’s teammates scored more than 15 points, but Atlanta had 8 players score at least 9 points. Atlanta connected on 16 three-pointers, shooting an exceptional 59 percent from three. In fact, the Hawks had as many missed threes as they did turnovers, 11. Atlanta caught fire in the second half and the Knicks were unable to match Atlanta’s offensive firepower.
Julius Randle continues to struggle in his first career NBA playoffs. Randle shot an abysmal 2/15 from the field, seeming hesitant to shoot at times due to a lack of confidence. The Hawks built a wall around Randle, forcing him to take contested jump shots. Randle’s shot wasn’t falling for the third straight game, and the bleeding was contagious throughout the team. RJ Barrett shot 2/9 and scored just 7 points in 29 minutes. Alec Burks and Immanuel Quickley both shot just 2/8 and combined for 12 points. Overall, this was a rough shooting game for the Knicks and a strong shooting game for the Hawks. For the Knicks to shoot the way they did and only lose by 11, that is a very encouraging sign. The Knicks likely won’t shoot as poorly again, while the Hawks likely won’t shoot this well again.
Derrick Rose was the lone bright spot offensively tonight for the Knicks. Rose scored 30 points while registering his first playoff start since 2015. Rose was carrying the team offensively through stretches in which the Knicks were struggling to score. In addition, Nerlens Noel provided a great spark off the bench. Noel scored 12 points, including 10 free throws. Noel also contributed 8 rebounds and 3 steals in just 21 minutes. Obi Toppin also provided good energy off the bench at the beginning of the fourth quarter. However, the rest of the team played poorly and the Knicks were unable to leave Game 3 with a win. The Knicks look to rebound in game 4 on Sunday at 1 pm in Atlanta.