The Charlotte Hornets are taking on the New York Knicks in midtown Manhattan tonight after a deflating loss to the Toronto Raptors last night. This is the Hornets' fifth last game of the regular season, and opportunities to improve their positioning in the Eastern Conference standings is dwindling. The Hornets are currently 44-33 on the season — good for the sixth seed — with only one game separating them from the third-seeded Atlanta Hawks.
Luckily, the Knicks are pretty bad. While they have some talent on paper, the pieces either don't fit or aren't ready to contribute to a winning basketball club, and the few good pieces they have have dealt with injury problems throughout the year. Plus, Phil Jackson is committed to cronyism when selecting coaches, which up until this point hasn't worked out. As a result, the Knicks are 31-47 on the season.
In other words, the Hornets shouldn't have much trouble putting the Knicks away tonight.
Carmelo Anthony is expected to play tonight, while Kristaps Porzingis is not. For the Hornets, Nicolas Batum will miss his second straight game with a strained left knee. Jeremy Lin is expected to play through a nagging back injury. Lin in New York. Yup.
Starting for the Hornets will be Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lin, Courtney Lee, Marvin Williams, and Cody Zeller. For the Knicks, Jerian Grant, Sasha Vujacic, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Williams, and Robin Lopez will get starting nods.
Tip off's at 7:30 p.m. Hop on down to the comments to chat about tonight's game!