The New York Knicks plays the Atlanta Hawks Sunday afternoon at The Highlight Factory, which got its name when Dominique Wilkins made the Hawks must-see TV a few decades ago. The Knicks' constant intrigue surrounding the play of Carmelo Anthony -- with and without Amare Stoudemire, who is on his second game back from his back injury after the team's loss in their last game at Cleveland -- make them captivating to watch in a vastly different way.
The Hawks, on the other hand, have been at times downright unwatchable. Everyone's seen this movie before -- the cast is the same, the plot has developed the same way -- but the wild card may be Josh Smith. The mercurial power forward is having the best season of his career (18.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.8 blocks per game), is in contention for a possible spot on an All-NBA team and could be the difference between this Hawks team and the high-floor, low-ceiling acts of recent years.
The Knicks are on the other end of the spectrum. They're feast or famine in the most extreme way imaginable, and Stoudemire's arrival after weeks on the shelf throws what was some balance and cohesiveness in flux yet again. Anthony scored 12 points in STAT's return, while he had been averaging more than 30 since Amare and Jeremy Lin left the lineup. They'll need to jell before the playoffs start and they face either the Bulls or Heat in the first round.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, April 22, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta