After dropping 25 points and leading his team to a 111-109 victory against the Toronto Raptors in a controversial end, Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks have a few hours to prepare for their next matchup against the Charlotte Hornets. Langston Galloway and Lance Thomas, who both came off the bench, played major roles in last night’s victory in Toronto. Galloway ended with 15 points while Thomas added 17 as he went 3 for 3 from downtown. Although it was a happy night for New York, Coach Derek Fisher acknowledge it wasn’t a pretty game. “We were fortunate to get out with the win giving up 60 points in the paint and fouling as much as we did; those are areas that we’ve really trying to improve in a major way”.
The projected starting lineup for New York includes Jose Calderon, Sasha Vujacic, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Robin Lopez. For Charlotte, Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, P.J. Hairston, Marvin Williams and Al Jefferson. Some other players to note for Charlotte are their offseason acquisitions of Jeremy Lamb and the ex Knick Jeremy Lin. Lamb concluded with 18 points while Lin put up 19 in last night's win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. In their last four games, the Hornets bench has averaged 48 points per game. As a team, they’ve averaged 109 points per contest and shot 49 percent from the field.
It will be a full task of hand for NY with offensive threats all over with the reserves, Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson. Walker is currently leading his team with 16 points and five assists per game. Jose Calderon has seen his share of struggles defensively guarding against other guards. The most effective strategy for guarding Walker could be giving Galloway more minutes on the floor, who has a bigger wingspan and more versatility. Rookie Kristaps Porzingis, who has had a terrific start to his NBA career, will need to provide an effective inside defensive performance with Robin Lopez when guarding Jefferson. Porzingis holds a slight advantage in the rebounding department over Jefferson with a ratio of eight to seven. He also leads all rookies in 2nd-chance points with 29. New York, who are 3-1 away from home, are playing their best basketball on the road. As a team, they hold averages of eight steals and seven blocks per contest. When playing at Madison Square Garden, they average a total of 94 points per game while tallying 109 points being away.
Despite struggling to find his shot early in the season, Anthony has still find way to contribute offensively, averaging 22 points per game and shooting 92 percent from the free throw line. He’s already had a 30 plus point game this season against the Washington Wizards, so has shown signs he can still be considered a top offensive performer. The Knickerbockers rely much on their leader Anthony, but contributions like the ones Galloway and Porzingis have provided, is a key factor for a team looking to earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Knicks - Hornets tips off at 7:00 P.M. EST.