Takeaways from the Charlotte Hornets loss to the New York Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Jeremy Lamb
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Jeremy Lamb /

The Charlotte Hornets continue to struggle as they dropped one game under .500 after losing their third straight on the road.

In a tale of two halves, the Charlotte Hornets fell to the New York Knicks in disappointing fashion,118-113. It was a chance for Charlotte to grab a win on their four-game road trip, but defense down the stretch did the Hornets in as they conclude the nightmare against the Boston Celtics, who have won nine in a row. But, there are some good things coming out of the Big Apple for the Hornets.


Charlotte looked like an elite offensive team in the first half, scoring 69 points. It was the highest scoring half of the season, coming a week after putting up 66 in the second half against Milwaukee. The Hornets offense played with a purpose, knocking down 10 three-pointers. In a showcase to prove why the Knicks made a mistake, Malik Monk scored 18 of his 21 points in the first half.

Despite Porzingis’ wonders in the first half, the Hornets held onto an 11 point lead going into halftime. Oh, but I mentioned that Porzingis guy…

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From the jump, New York had more energy than Charlotte, scoring the first six points of the second half. It was a sign of things to come. The third quarter saw both teams throwing jabs at each other, eventually, each scoring 25 points as the Hornets kept their 11-point lead.

In the fourth quarter, Porzingis and Doug McDermott took over. McDermott turned the clocks back to his playing days at Creighton, knocking down three-pointers left and right, scoring 10 points in the quarter. Then Porzingis decided it was his turn. The Hornets, heck the entire NBA, doesn’t have an answer on how to stop the 7’3″ unicorn from scoring. Porzingis finished the game with 28 points, but the 22-year-old showed he could do it in the clutch, breaking a tie game with a huge three, then icing the game blowing past Monk for an easy finger roll.

The defense for the Hornets was atrocious down the stretch. Steve Clifford mentioned that Charlotte will have to improve defensively, despite having more shot-makers. And for poor Clifford, he was right. Charlotte struggled to switch on pick-and-rolls giving the giant Porzingis a favorable matchup and players seemed to watch the ball, instead of playing active defense.  Coach Clifford is going to have nightmares.


Michael Carter-Williams is making an impact. No, that sentence isn’t from 2014.

After starting the season in street clothes due to a knee injury, Carter-Williams appeared to be healthy for Charlotte. While he didn’t put up the gaudy scoring numbers, the backup point guard impressed defensively with three steals. On offense, Carter-Williams and Monk showed some chemistry, as Carter-Williams was able to find an open Monk for three on a couple of occasions. Carter-Williams finished with four points, three rebounds, three assists to go along with his three steals.

This is what Charlotte needed, a player who could run the offense while Kemba Walker rests on the bench. With Carter-Williams on the floor, Charlotte was +9. Take it for what it is, if Carter-Williams can have this type of impact 20 minutes or more per game, then Charlotte became that much more versatile.


Five players scored in double-figures for Charlotte, including 21 from Walker, Monk and Dwight Howard. Jeremy Lamb continued to get buckets with 15 points and Marvin Williams added 12, as well. This is a good sign, as it wasn’t a one-man show offensively. But that also came back to haunt the Hornets in the second half.

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Without one player in rhythm, Charlotte didn’t have a player to go to down the stretch like the Knicks did in Porzingis. Kemba is usually that guy for Charlotte, but he struggled to get his shot off, as New York did a good job of bringing help to smother the six-foot all-star. In a normal outing, if Charlotte has five players in double-figures scoring, they’re a difficult team to beat.