When: 7:30 p.m. EST
Where: Madison Square Garden outs
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, MSG Network
The Hornets travel to New York tonight to take on the Knicks in a game that looks a lot more interesting now than it did in October. Both these teams have shown to be much tougher outs this season than last, and are potential playoff teams. Nobody in the bottom half of the Eastern conference has managed to separate themselves from the pack, and based on their early season play it wouldn't be surprising to see these two in the playoff race come April.
With that in mind, all of a sudden tonight's game is pretty important for a November game. If the Hornets win that will give them two games over the Knicks out of the four they have to play this season. At worst, they'll be in a tiebreaker situation. It's weird to already be thinking about those kinds of games this early in the season, but ya gotta win those while you can.
As for how these two match up, the Hornets have an advantage when it comes to scheme. They play a system that involves a lot of 3-point shooting with some sets to try and get Al Jefferson the ball by himself down low. When that doesn't work they go heavy on the pick and roll. The Knicks supposedly play the triangle, but it's hard to see how often then run it vs when they don't. These inconsistencies in their system make them hard to judge.
Of course, the biggest advantage for the Knicks lies in Carmelo Anthony. He's the best player on the floor tonight, and that's going to give New York a decent shot at winning no matter how well the Hornets play. Charlotte had a difficult time containing Anthony in the first game, and it's unlikely they'll do any better at slowing him down this go around.
Last time, the Hornets needed a go ahead basket from Cody Zeller, and a waived off buzzer beater from Kristaps Porzingis. It likely won't come down to that again, but expect this game to be pretty close in the fourth quarter. It should be fun.