Stephen A. Smith is as happy as every other New York person to see the Knicks back in the playoffs after eight years. However, the situation doesn't look favorable for this team after losing Game 1 of their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.
Trae Young was on a mission, even making the game-winning shot to give his side a valuable win. Smith didn't like how the team played on Sunday night and urged them to step up, especially their star Julius Randle if they want to have a chance against the Hawks.
Randle also needs help, and the rest of the squad should focus on stopping the Hawks' supporting cast if they are really serious about winning (1:28 timestamp).
“But this series might not last long if Julius Randle doesn’t have a coming-out party of his own on this playoff stage. If Julius Randle doesn’t play like the MVP candidate he was down the stretch, if RJ Barrett doesn’t help out, if Trae Young is putting up more points than them combined, the Knicks return to the postseason. It’s going to be over real quick. If Alec Burks is leading the Knicks in scoring every game like he did in game one, the Knicks are in serious trouble.”
They lost Game 1 by only two points but that didn't make anybody happy. They received 15K fans at Madison Square Garden in their return to the postseason. Everything was set for them to win, but Young had different plans.
Now it's time to tie the series or the Hawks will have a big advantage heading back to Atlanta. This is going to be a great game with everything at stake, especially for the Knicks.