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Game Preview: Knicks at Hornets, 1/11/2021

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The Knicks are .500!

Charlotte Hornets v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Hey look, I dunno whats gonna keep you warm but the fire is still going here. You wanna bring it in? Before the season hastily got rolling, the paperwork made the Knicks look like a solid C student. Julius Randle molted and became All-Star Julius. For the most part the rest of the returners seemed to level up, and the two rookies showed distinct promise.

But can you believe the Knicks took Obi Toppin? They should have traded up for LaMelo Ball. If they’re not tanking wrong, are we even in New York anymore? Should they win, or are they losers? If you’re not depressed by all the things New York is doing wrong- in your mind- are you really being a fan?

Get over it, wacko. They may have gotten smacked around by the insanely good Denver Nuggets Let’s watch the Knicks take on a team that might be a better test of just where they are. The Hornets may actually have a one year jump on the Knicks, having developed a bit of a team and then going out and reeling in a high caliber free agent. At the very least, maybe there will be signs of whats to come.

Projected Starters

Elfrid Payton v Devontae Graham

Reggie Bullock v Terry Rozier

RJ Barrett v Gordon Hayward

Julius Randle v PJ Washington

Mitchell Robinson v Bismack Biyombo

I’m sure Hornets fans are having a raging argument about why is Devontae Graham starting when LaMelo Ball is getting triple doubles almost every time he plays.

Oh. Well maybe not I guess.

Charlotte Hornets vs. New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Muggsy was so damn good. I love remembering a simpler time when you knew the Knicks were gonna just handle some fools. Really good teams got handled, bad teams got handled. You needed to be outright exceptional to give them some trouble. Or just send them to the line. That usually gummed up the gears.

Keys & Predictions

This is one of those games where the Knicks will definitely have to be in full sprint when the jump ball goes up and they’ll have to continue sprinting through the finish. Lots of dynamic scoring and playmaking on this roster is sure to set some garbage cans on fire and if they Knicks aren’t prepared to extinguish them, pretty soon the block will get too hot and it’ll all go up in flames. Charlotte is middle of the pack in just about everything. They rebound ok, they shoot a decent amount of threes, they get to the line a fair bit, they shoot it pretty well. Some things are up, some a little down, there’s nothing they’re ghastly at.

Then there’s the things they are really good at. Charlotte leads the league in assists and are third in steals with over nine a game. That does not bode well for the Knicks and their nearly 16 turnovers a game. If Charlotte is getting the regular allotment of stepping on the sideline, plus some live ball turnovers, this one could be over in a hurry.

Knicks by -12

BKN-KNICKS HORNETS-MASHBURN Photo by NELL REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

Warm Up

Thomas Bryant is done for the season in Washington after tearing his ACL. Bogdan Bogdanovic is gone for the foreseeable future with a broken knee. Markelle Fultz tore his ACL, he’s done. Is it time to cash out? Get some shit done before the season claims the Knicks victim?