What: Charlotte Hornets (3-5) at New York Knicks (4-4)
When: Sunday November 11, 12:00pm Eastern
Where: Madison Square Garden; New York, NY
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Outfitting: Hornets–Icon (teal), Knicks–Association (white)
Game lines: Knicks -9.0, O/U 223.5
Hornets: Gordon Hayward-probable (hamstring), Terry Rozier-out (groin), Cody Martin-out (knee), James Bouknight-out (knee), Frank Ntilikina-out (leg)
Knicks: None (why don’t other teams get hurt like the Hornets)
The Hornets are 1-0 in their last one, and that game was an In-Season Tournament game. This one is just a regular old regular season game, but it’s at noon, which is always kinda fun.
The opponent for the game is against the Knicks, who are 4-4 and play very ugly basketball. They’re basically the anti-Wizards. They have the second lowest effective field goal percentage in the league and play the sixth lowest pace. Their offense has been very inefficient, but they win games the way you’d expect Tom Thibodeau teams to win. They have the second best defensive rating in the league and lead the league in rebounding rate. The Hornets probably won’t win this game by cleaning up the offensive glass like they did on Friday against the Wizards. Instead, they’ll need to play sound defense and try to create transition opportunities to avoid having to crack the Knicks stingy half court defense.
On the defensive side of the court, the Hornets have struggled to limit opponent spot up opportunities. 26.0% of opponents’ possessions end in spot up shots, fifth highest in the league, and the 1.11 points per possession they’re allowing on those shots is sixth highest in the league. The Knicks offense does a good job generating those spot up looks; they’re seventh in percentage of possessions that end in spot ups and eighth in percentage. The Hornets need to be better in this area in general, but this game could really expose that weakness.
The Knicks this season are led by Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett, who are both averaging just over 22 points per game. Former All Star Julius Randle is having a brutal shooting start to the season and last I saw was the least efficient high volume player in the league. He’s connecting on 31.6% of his 17 shot attempts per game 25.9% of his 6.8 3-point attempts per game. He’s doing other things well; he’s averaging 11.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, but the shooting numbers are ghastly.
For the Hornets to win, they need to limit the shot creation of Brunson and Barrett while keeping Randle and Mitchell Robinson off the glass. Robinson is averaging 6.3 offensive rebounds per game, so Mark Williams and Nick Richards are going to have their hands full there. If the Hornets can do those things, they can get their second win in a row.