The New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks open their regular season schedules on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. After 10 straight playoff appearances, the Hawks decided to begin rebuilding last season. They fell to a 24-58 record, and most basketball pundits do not expect much improvement this season.

The Knicks ended 2017-18 with a 29-53 record and missed the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. With Kristaps Porzingis recovering from a torn ACL (reports vary from returning anywhere from Christmas to not at all this season), it may be an upward climb for New York to reach the postseason.

Projected starting lineups

Hawks: PG - Trae Young, SG - Vince Carter, SF - Kent Bazemore, PF - Taurean Prince, C - Alex Len

Knicks: PG - Trey Burke, SG - Tim Hardaway Jr., SF - Frank Ntilikina, PF - Lance Thomas, C - Enes Kanter


Hawks: Out - Dewayne Dedmon (ankle), Justin Anderson (tibia), John Collins (ankle)

Knicks: Out - Kristaps Porzingis (knee), Emmanuel Mudiay (ankle), Doubtful - Courtney Lee (neck)

What fans should watch for

While Kevin Knox has received much praise since New York selected him with the ninth pick in June draft, he struggled at the end of preseason, and lost his starting job to Frank Ntilikina, according to ESPN. Expectations should be tempered, at least to start the season for the 19-year-old.

He shot just 9-of-34 from the field over his last three preseason outings.

All eyes will be on the much-heralded rookie, Trae Young, selected fifth overall by the Mavericks and subsequently traded to Atlanta. He was dominant at both scoring and dishing out assists during his one year at Oklahoma. The 20-year-old averaged 15 points and 5.4 assists in 24.6 minutes per game in the preseason.

While Atlanta wasn't successful last season, they made the ninth-most threes, while attempting the seventh-most. Adding Young to their roster may see them shoot even more from deep. The Knicks, meanwhile, were second-to-last in both three-point makes and attempts in 2017-18. New coach, David Fizdale, has stressed to the team that they need to attempt more this season.

Knicks vs Hawks history

According to Land of Basketball, the Knicks and Hawks have met 370 times in the regular season. The Hawks hold a 195-175 advantage in the win column. Since moving to Atlanta, they hold an ever-so-slim 109-108 advantage. Atlanta has had the upper hand much of the past two seasons. They won two of three meetings last season and all three in 2016-17.