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2024 NBA Playoffs Takeaways: Which team is more likely to turn skid around, Knicks or Timberwolves?

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Things move fast in the NBA playoffs, so to help you stay on top of everything, from now through at least the end of the second round, we will have nightly takeaways from the postseason action.

Which team is more likely to turn skid around, Knicks or Timberwolves?

Both the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves were up 2-0 in their respective second-round playoff series, and in both series fans and pundits already started looking ahead. Could the Knicks upset the Celtics in the next round? Is Minnesota a team of destiny? Charles Barkley said the series was over and Minnesota was better than Denver.

Then, both teams struggled and dropped their next two games. New York and Minnesota now head into Monday in a series tied 2-2 with momentum having swung the other way.

Which team is more likely to turn the series around and still win it, Minnesota or New York?

Give me the Minnesota Timberwolves.

That’s for one simple reason: health. The Knicks are without Mitchell Robinson and OG Anunoby, who were injured in this series, and they are without Bojan Bogdanovic (foot/ankle), whose shooting and floor spacing would have been critical against the Pacers. Then there is Julius Randle, who was out before the postseason even started. Jalen Brunson is a warrior, but he is clearly playing through a lot as well. It’s too much to overcome.

It’s not hard to envision New York’s shooters getting hot for a night and taking a game, but two out of three to win the series? The Knicks just don’t have the bodies to grind down an underrated Pacers team.

Minnesota needs a few things to go their way to turn the tide back in their favor: An officiating crew that lets them be physical on defense like they were in Game 2, better play on both ends from Karl-Anthony Towns, tweaks to their defensive scheme so that Aaron Gordon is not left open to score.

The Timberwolves need to find a way to make the Nuggets uncomfortable and speed them up again, like they did in the first two games. That’s tough to do but not impossible (this is what Nikola Jokic does, he figures a team out over the course of a series and gets better as the games go on). The Timberwolves shooters can get hot, and they have Anthony Edwards — there is hope in Minnesota, even if they might need to start reaching for the panic button.

And at least the Timberwolves key players are healthy.

Atlanta wins No. 1 pick in year without clear No. 1

Winning the NBA Draft Lottery and getting the No. 1 pick is good for Atlanta.

That should be obvious, but it’s easy to joke, “Of course they win it this year” is a draft where scouts believe there is no clear, franchise-changing player at the top of the board (no Victor Wembanyama or Anthony Edwards). However, this can help the Hawks chart a course for the future.

Upheaval is coming to Atlanta this summer. They are going to try to trade Trae Young, other teams are more curious about Dejounte Murray, but what is clear one of them will be moved this offseason. The players and picks that come back in that trade are the start of the Hawks’ finding a new style of play and identity under Quin Snyder.

The Hawks can draft a quality player to fit that new look, too. Maybe it’s a wing like Zaccharie Risacher or a center who can protect the rim and maybe stretch the floor like Alex Sarr, maybe it’s someone else, but the Hawks will have options. Winning the lottery is a good thing.

Also out of the NBA Draft Lottery, it sucks to be Detroit. Two straight years with the worst record in the NBA, two consecutive years the lottery bumps them down to fifth. Ouch.