When: 7 p.m. EST
Where: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina.
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
The Charlotte Hornets are fresh off a victory against a Minnesota Timberwolves team that lacked two starters in Ricky Rubio and Andrew Wiggins, and they're up against a New York Knicks team that just beat the improved Toronto Raptors.
The Hornets continue to relish in the play of bench spark plug Jeremy Lin and the new $21 million dollar man Jeremy Lamb. Lin only shot 1-5 from three but attacked the basket and hit a variety of floaters, layups, and jumpers to score 19 points for the Hornets. Lamb also chipped in 18 points along with four rebounds to continue his great play. Lamb is averaging almost 15 points in the last four games. PJ Hairston continues to start and I believe that will soon be a thing of the past. This Hornets' new offense may not be just a trend, and hopefully the teams mediocre defense is.
Look for Kemba Walker to rebound from his off night of only 4-12 shooting (including 0-5 from the three point line), and hopefully continue his hot shooting percentage of .449% from the field. If the Knicks start Jose Calderon then look for Kemba Walker to penetrate and score at will. Calderon has always been a below average defender, but this year he has especially struggled. It could be that all that his body is breaking down from playing for the NBA and the Spanish national team for all these years. Sasha Vujacic is another older player who isn't as bad of defender as Calderon, but he still isn't an effective NBA starter. It's understandable that Coach Derek Fisher wants to start players who are familiar with the Triangle Offense, but at this point Langston Galloway and Jerian Grant are proving to be the more effective. Galloway in particular is a feisty defender who is taking advantage of Arron Afflalo's absence.
Afflalo has not made his season debut yet due to a hamstring injury, but he may make his debut Wednesday. The Knicks could certainly use a guard better than Vujacic even if it's not for starters minutes. Of course it will be imperative for the Hornets to at least try and manage Carmelo Anthony. While he isn't scoring as much Anthony is still a threat at all times. He doesn't need to score as much because Phil Jackson brought in the reinforcements, and you better believe I'm talking about Kristaps Porzingis. The Latvian rookie is almost averaging a double-double and so far looks like he's living up to at least part of the hype. Even if he doesn't live up to the weird Pau Gasol/Dirk Nowitzki comparisons he looks to be a solid NBA player.
I predict the Hornets will by ten or so points against the Knicks and Kemba Walker will put up solid numbers against the Knicks backcourt.