New York Knicks vs Charlotte Hornets Preview and Predictions -02-26-2020
NBA: Wednesday, February 26, Spectrum Center, Charlotte, 7:00 PM ET
The New York Knicks were playing well a couple of weeks ago when they recorded four consecutive wins, but are now on a four-game losing streak. Following the most recent road loss to the Houston Rockets, the Knicks dropped to a 17-40 record and are in the 13th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Charlotte Hornets responded to a five-game skid with three wins in a row but returned to losing ways against the Brooklyn Nets at home. The Hornets dropped to a 19-37 record and are in 11th place in the East.
These conference rivals met twice this season, and the Hornets won both encounters and covered the spread in the process.
The Knicks’ weak second-quarter cost them a win over Houston
New York played well for most of the game against the favored Houston Rockets on the road, but a weaker display in the second quarter proved to be decisive. The Knicks lost that period by 12 points and suffered a 123-112 defeat in the end. As expected, the visitors did dominate the boards (54-38), but the Rockets hit five triples more than the Knicks and committed 13 turnovers opposite New York’s 17. RJ Barrett led the Knicks with 21 points and six rebounds. Julius Randle posted a double-double of 17 points and game-high 12 boards. Dennis Smith Jr. added 15 points, seven rebounds, five dimes, and career-high seven steals, while Mitchell Robinson had ten points, eight boards, game-high five blocks, and two thefts. Elfrid Payton (ankle) and Frank Ntilikina (groin) are questionable to face Charlotte on Wednesday.
“You have a team that can attack you in so many different ways,” Knicks coach Mike Miller said. “You have to make them earn everything and I think they got too many easy ones early.”
This season, the Knicks have the 28th offense in the NBA that averages 104.8 points per game, and they are facing the Hornets’ 13th defense that allows 110.0 points per contest. The Knicks are the 6th in rebounds with 46.5 and 28th in assists with 21.6 per game.
The Hornets couldn’t cope with Brooklyn at home
Charlotte produced one of the worst displays of the season in a massive 115-86 home defeat to the Brooklyn Nets. The Hornets lost all four quarters and shot only 35.2% from the floor. The hosts made 12 three-pointers opposite Brooklyn’s 17, while the visitors were better in every segment of the game, including rebounds and assists. P.J. Washington led the Hornets with 16 points, seven rebounds, and two steals. Malik Monk scored 15 points, Cody Zeller added 14 points and team-high nine boards, while Miles Bridges had 13 points, five rebounds, and team-high five assists.
“He just has to keep grinding and working his way through it,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said about Devonte Graham’s recent slump. “You don’t hang your head. You just keeping working and grow. I hope the next team throws the full bucket at him again. That’s how you grow and adapt to this league and get better.”
This season, the Hornets have the worst offense in the NBA that averages 102.6 points per game, and they are facing the Knicks’ 19th defense that allows 111.8 points per contest. The Hornets are the 25th in rebounds with 42.9 and 19th in assists with 23.7 per game.
The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team is largely owned by retired NBA player Michael Jordan, who acquired a controlling interest in the team in 2010. The Hornets play their home games at the Spectrum Center in Uptown Charlotte.
The original Hornets franchise was established in 1988 as an expansion team, owned by George Shinn. In 2002, Shinn’s franchise relocated to New Orleans and became the New Orleans Hornets. In 2004, the NBA established the Charlotte Bobcats, which was regarded as a new expansion team at the time. In 2013, the New Orleans franchise announced it would rebrand itself the New Orleans Pelicans, ultimately returning the Hornets name, records, and official history (spanning from 1988 to 2002) to Charlotte. The Bobcats were officially renamed the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014–15 season.