I am going to the game today and I would love to see Eric Gordon drill some shots in the face of JR Smith in the 4th quarter to ice a road win. This 3 game east coast stretch could be very telling for the team as it's coming up against 3 quality teams worthy of making the playoffs and I for one would love to see some fight out of this team. Lets Geaux Hornets!
Game On: Hornets @ Knicks
The 11-25 Hornets travel to New York for an early game (11 AM central time) against the 23-13 Knicks, currently the Eastern Conference’s second best team.
While the Hornets will be looking to extend their season long 4-game winning streak, the Knicks have been moving in the opposite direction and will try to avoid their fourth straight defeat. Carmelo Anthony’s play so far this season has him in consideration for both the Most Improved Player Award as well as the MVP. The two teams have already played once this season, with the Hornets falling at home in a lopsided affair, losing 102-80. What can they do in this game to notch win number five in a row?
3 Keys to the Game
- Find a way to create easy looks. This may sound pretty self-explanatory, but giving 100% effort in order to do so is more important against the Knicks than any other team. The Knicks hold the league’s lowest turnover rate (11.9%, way ahead of the second-ranked Raptors at 13.5%) and a top-5 defensive rebound rate of 74.7%. So, in a nutshell, the Knicks don’t give up many opportunities for points in transition or second chance points. If the Hornets can find a way to create some of these opportunities, they’ll drastically improve their chances of winning.
- Close out on the perimeter. The Knicks shoot more three-pointers per game than any other NBA team, and there’s a good reason for that – they have the third highest three-point percentage in the league at 38.9%. The Hornets simply cannot give these guys open looks, or they will get burned. Ironically enough, in the two teams’ first meeting, the Knicks shot exactly that percentage, making 14 of their 36(!) attempts. When the Knicks keep that effective field goal percentage on 3-pointers close to 60%, they are incredibly tough to beat, so New Orleans needs to make sure that they contest as many of them as possible.
- Protect the basketball. The Knicks force turnovers on 16.4% of opponents’ possessions (7th in the NBA) and score 18.0 points off of turnovers per game (5th in the NBA). That being said, New York scores the 4th lowest fast break points per game in the league (9.2), so while they’re not scoring “in transition”, they’re turning opponents’ sloppy play into open looks, frequently from beyond the arc. The fact of the matter is that, against the Knicks, turnovers turn into points more frequently than against most other teams, so it’s important to take care of the ball.
Feel free to share any additional keys that you may have below, and enjoy the game!