When: 1:00 PM ET
Where: Madison Square Garden
TV: Fox Sports South, MSG Network
Today the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks will take part in one of the stranger parts of the NBA season, the early afternoon game. Matinee games are, more often than not, very sloppy and take awhile to get going. This is mainly because NBA players are used to playing at night somewhere in the 7 P.M. to 8 P.M. range which makes these early tip off times a bit of a shock to the body.
While the start time is early and that could make this game a little wackier than usual, this is still a game the Hornets should win. The Knicks are one, if not the worst, team in the NBA. Carmelo Anthony has been out for an extended period of time, they just traded away J.R. Smith, Amare Stoudemire has been injured, and a lot of the Knicks "talent" isn't very talented. This is a bad team and one the Hornets should beat.
If the Hornets win it will be their fifth straight victory, all without Al Jefferson or Lance Stephenson, making this game have some interesting narratives attached to it. Are the Hornets actually better without two of their best players or are they starting to put things together and them being absent from the lineup is merely coincidence? Either way, Charlotte's defense has returned to form over this win streak and that's the main reason they've been able to gain victories.
Today's game will largely be about whether the Hornets can fight through matinee sluggishness or not, if they can't, the Knicks will have a chance, if not, the Hornets should win this. Of course, the way this season has gone it wouldn't shock anybody if the Hornets lost a game they should have won.