Game Preview: Charlotte Hornets seek to remain unbeaten against the New York Knicks

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

As the Charlotte Hornets ride a two-game losing streak, they return home to face the struggling New York Knicks in the second game of a back-to-back.

After suffering one of their worst losses of the season, the Charlotte Hornets (19-38) will head home to face the New York Knicks (17-40) on Wednesday night. The Hornets are currently riding a two-game losing streak, while the Knicks have lost four straight.

This game will be the third matchup between the two teams. All games have been close so far, but if Charlotte wins this one, they will win the season series. In the last home game against the Knicks in January, the Hornets won 97-92.

Heading into Wednesday, the Hornets’ previous game was a 119-80 loss to the Indiana Pacers, while the Knicks’ last game resulted in a 123-112 loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday night.

Charlotte Hornets vs. New York Knicks
7:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday, February 26th, 2020
Spectrum Center
Fox Sports Southeast


Injury Report




Frank Ntilikina – Groin (Out)

Elfrid Payton – Ankle (Probable)

Kadeem Allen -Concussion (Doubtful)

Things to watch for:

As the Hornets remain healthy, the team should have no one on the injury report heading into Wednesday’s game. Devonte’ Graham did not play on Tuesday, and that was due to load-management.

With Graham coming off two consecutive bad games, the rest may help him. Out of everyone on the Hornets, he should be the most well-rested player on the team. Having a player who’s 100%, who did not play in the first game of a back-to-back, can make a huge difference.

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This game should be interesting to also watch because of how different the Knicks’ roster is, compared to the last time the Hornets played them. On February 6th, the Knicks traded Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Maurice Harkless and draft picks.

Morris played in two games against the Hornets this season far; in those two games, he averaged 18.5 points and 5.0 rebound per game. With Morris gone, Julius Randle is the lone top-scorer for the Knicks.

Keys to the game:

This game is going to be different than the last ones since Morris is no longer on the Knicks. The Hornets must make sure they defend the Knicks’ young shooters in their backcourt.

The Knicks are relatively small in their frontcourt, so this should hurt them when it comes to rebounding. It will be essential to make sure Julius Randle does not start hot. So far this season, Randle has averaged 18.0 points and six rebounds per game against the Hornets.

Finally, the Hornets need Devonte’ Graham to get over his funk and dominate in this game. He’s averaged 17.0 points and six assists per game against the Knicks this season, and he should be well-rested for this matchup.

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The Hornets have a strong chance in this game, but it will be tough after the demoralizing loss suffered the night before this game. If Charlotte wins this game, they will move back up to the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference, while losing will leave them idle at the 11th spot.