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Why Gary Neal is about to torch the Knicks

The Charlotte Hornets guard fits all the necessary requirements of a Knicks killer.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Hey kiddies, it's time once again to play everybody's favorite game: Who's Gonna Torch the Knicks' Defense Tonight?

Friday night's contest between the Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets brings with it an intriguing question. We know the Knicks suck on D (27th in D-Rating). We know the Hornets suck on O (26th in O-Rating). It's the resistible force versus the movable object. So which member of the abysmal Charlotte offense poses the biggest threat?

Will it be Big Al Jefferson? Or perhaps a native New Yorker like Kemba Walker or Lance Stephenson? Nay, nay and nay, I say! Instead, I present you with an under-the-radar candidate to decimate the Knicks' defense: reserve guard Gary Neal!

While he might not carry the name value of a Walker or Stephenson, Neal has been the superior offensive player this season, shooting and good-for-a-Hornet 40.9 percent from the field and a good-for-anyone 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Neal was Charlotte's most unstoppable weapon during their Nov. 2 loss to the Knicks, scoring 17 points on 5-10 shooting (3-3 from beyond the arc), while chipping in three rebounds, three assists and no turnovers.

Most importantly, Neal is expected to play tonight after missing the last four games with a shoulder injury:

That seals it, folks! If this season has taught Knicks' fans nothing else -- and it hasn't -- it's that any player who returns from injury to play New York will inevitably dominate. Russell Westbrook did it, Dwyane Wade did it, Gary Neal will do it. You can take that to the bank!