The New York Knicks (4-16) are coming off of a tough loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where they lost on their own home court, 87-90. It was their last home game of their three-game home stand, a home stand in which they failed to win any of their games. They continue to fall down the Eastern Conference ranks, as they have lost their sixth straight game and have fallen 11.5 games back and are also in 13th place in the east.
However, the Charlotte Hornets aren't far off. As a matter of fact, they are only in 12th place in the east and are 11 games back. They have endured their own heartbreaking losses, as they are currently on a 10-game losing streak.
The good news is, at least one of these teams will break their losing streaks in Friday night's matchup.
The Knicks are starting to look like a cohesive team on the court. Nonetheless, turnovers and missed opportunities have been their Achilles heel. During their last game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, they led most of the way. They lost their lead midway through the fourth quarter, but managed to keep the game close until the end. A missed runner from Shane Larkin and a missed three pointer from Carmelo Anthony -- which would have sent the game into overtime -- pretty much summed up the poor start that they have had throughout the season.
With that loss, they now have the worst start in franchise history.
Now, they look to redeem themselves against a struggling Hornets team. It'll be their second game of a back-to-back, but the Knicks will fight to win this game. Iman Shumpert needs to step up on the offensive end. He showed flashes of his ability to score during the beginning of the season, but his offensive production has dropped off. He was held scoreless in the Knicks loss to the Cavaliers. Jose Calderon and Carmelo Anthony also need to figure out how to get it going as well.
Calderon has produced efficiently since his return to the court, with 9.6 points per game while shooting 44 percent. However, last night he was held to three points on 1-of-5 shooting. The Knicks will need him to be a shooting threat in order to capitalize at the end of games.
Anthony will need figure out how to get back into his offensive groove. He has shot 32.8 percent from the field since his return from injury (back spasms). The Knicks cannot afford to have an off shooting night from Carmelo. If he manages to get it going against the Hornets, the Knicks will have a good chance of getting the win.
On a positive note, the Knicks have had efficient production from Amar'e Stoudemire. In his last five games, he has scored 16.8 points per game, while shooting 59.6 percent from the field. Look for him to be a factor in tonight's game against the Hornets.
All in all, the Knicks have a good chance in ending their losing streak tonight. Contrary to what they have said to the media, they actually seem like they are starting to get it together. They just need to get their shots to fall. As long as they keep Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson from getting hot, they will be in good shape to win the game and go up 2-0 in their series against the Hornets.
Friday night's game against the Hornets is scheduled to begin at 7:00 P.M. at the Time Warner Cable Arena.