The Charlotte Hornets hit the road on Wednesday night, taking on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Gametime is set for 7:30 p.m. and the event can be streamed on both Bally Sports Southeast and NBA League Pass.
Hornets injury report: Gordon Hayward (ankle - out)
Knicks injury report: Kemba Walker (personal - out), Cam Reddish (out), Nerlens Noel (out), Derrick Rose (out), Quentin Grimes (out)
The Hornets are two-point favorites over the Knicks and the over/under for the contest is set at 225. The moneyline for Charlotte is at -110 and for New York it’s +130.
Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets lost to the Denver Nuggets Monday night on what was night two of a back-to-back. Their lack of focus was extremely clear at times, and ironically enough, that was the case in their last game vs. the Knicks, too. Charlotte most recently took on the Knicks on March 23. It was the game where LaMelo Ball exploded in the first three quarters but went quiet in the fourth. There was little urgency shown by Charlotte and it ended up costing them the game.
With just six games left in the season, the Hornets are 37-39. They are sitting at ninth in the Eastern Conference, but their place in the standings is far from set in stone. The Atlanta Hawks are just half a game behind them in tenth, and at the same time, the Brooklyn Nets are only one game ahead of them.
New York Knicks: Over their last ten games, the Knicks have gone 6-4, which is worth noting, as it’s been a disappointing year for them. And for the most part, it’s been their young core that’s led the way. In their last four games, RJ Barrett has averaged 24.3 points, Obi Toppin has put up 15.0 points, and Immanuel Quickley averaged 14.8 points. Julius Randle has been struggling, but he’s contributing on the boards and with his passing.
As mentioned, this season has been an extremely disappointing one for the Knicks. After earning the fourth seed in last year’s playoffs, they currently sit at 34-42 on the year, which is good for 11th in the East. They are 4.5 games back of the Hawks in ninth and barring a major collapse from Atlanta and a huge run by the Knicks, they won’t be competing in the playoffs this year.
If they want to walk away with the win this time around, Charlotte is going to have to lock in. It’s become clear that this team can lose focus at times, and with how late we are in the season, maybe the long year has taken a toll on some of the younger guys. But despite their place in the standings, New York’s youngsters are hungry to prove themselves. This will not be an easy matchup by means, and the Hornets need to come to play.