New York Knicks vs New Orleans Hornets
When: Tuesday, November 20, 8:00 p.m.
Where: New Orleans Arena
The Knicks have started off like a white hot fire in the first three weeks of the season. Barring the setback at the tough Memphis Grizzlies, New York has been dominant in their early season run. The Knicks continue their road trip after their one home game against the Indiana Pacers. They get right back to the action against the up and coming New Orleans Hornets.
The young Hornets have been formidable throughout the early season, and only had one tremendously bad game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They’ve won three out of their first eight games, and this is their last home game before they embark on a four game road trip.
The point guard match up could be a good one between Greivis Vasquez and Raymond Felton. Felton is averaging almost 16 points and seven assists per game as a Knick this season. He has taken control of the offense with the help of Jason Kidd at the two. Vasquez is one assist away from averaging a double-double for the Hornets.
There will be a good match up in the middle with Tyson Chandler and Robin Lopez. Lopez is a legitimate center with athletic ability. His presence helps Anthony Davis play at his natural power forward position. Tyson has been the anchor on the defensive end for a year now, and the defense has been increasingly better with each passing game. He leads the Knicks with eight rebounds per game. The Knicks have to become a better rebounding team as a whole, so they will look for him and the rest of the big men to up their average.
Carmelo Anthony is starting at the power forward position opposite Anthony Davis. This will be an interesting match up of who will get the upper hand. As an undersized power forward, Carmelo has the strength to deal with most of the NBA at that position. As a great defender, hopefully Anthony Davis gets his turn to cover Carmelo at the start of the game. Anthony Davis had the best game of his young career against Milwaukie with 28 points and 11 rebounds.
The Knicks bench has been wonderful early in the season with numerous contributors. Rasheed Wallace leads the team in blocks and showed he still has an effective scoring touch after two years off. J.R. Smith and Steve Novak have a great relationship on the court, and they combine to break down the opposing defenses with incredible ball movement. The Knicks have nine people getting double digit minutes in the every game rotation. That helps them stay fresh in the fourth quarter.
The leading scorer for the Hornets comes off the bench. Ryan Anderson is a dynamic three point shooter and he can heat up in a hurry. Anderson plays starters minutes and will be a factor in the game on Tuesday night. The Knicks will need to run him off of the three point line and force him to drive without fouling. Ryan Anderson hasn’t missed a free throw yet this season.
Although the Knicks are back on the road, they need to come out strong and play consistent basketball. As long as they play as a team and dive for loose balls, the Knicks should have the talent to win this game. The Hornets are getting better every game, but they shouldn’t be ready to challenge the best teams on a day to day basis. We’re going with a Knicks road victory.
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