Knicks @Hornets – New Orleans Arena
When: Monday | 8:00 PM
Where to Watch: MSG Networks
Where to Listen: ESPN 98.7 FM
New York: The sour taste of a defeat did not last long inside the Knicks locker room. After suffering a tough road loss to the Grizzlies last Friday night, New York bounced back in an 88-76 victory on Sunday afternoon. Impressively, the Knicks have not lost consecutive regular season games under head coach Mike Woodson. The team did not practice on Monday and traveled to New Orleans for another three-game road trip that starts with a matchup against the Hornets on Tuesday night. At 7-1, New York owns the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the NBA's best record after Memphis suffered a defeat on Monday.
New Orleans: Chris Paul is no longer the face of the franchise and the Hornets endured a difficult 21-45 record last season. However, New Orleans has a bright future after the squad selected No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis in the 2012 Draft. Davis was a no-brainer selection following a stellar college campaign at the University of Kentucky. The Hornets also drafted guard Austin Rivers while adding sharpshooter Ryan Davis and big man Robin Lopez this summer. Eric Gordon is expected to be the go-to offensive threat for New Orleans and provide a nice inside-out threat for the future. Unfortunately for the Big Easy squad, Gordon is not expected to return until mid-December with a sore knee. Through eight games, the Hornets have compiled a 3-5 mark, suffering three straight losses to Houston, Oklahoma City, and Milwaukee. After a home game against the Knicks, the team will jump on the road for a four-game trip.
Last Time Out
New York: The Knicks flexed their defensive muscles in the Sunday matinee victory over Indiana. The Pacers were limited to just 30 first half points and New York forced the road team to commit 19 turnovers.
New Orleans: In a 117-113 loss, Davis scored a career-high 28 points and 11 boards on Saturday night.
The Numbers Game
New York is 3-1 on the road this season and have won those three games by an average margin of 12 points per game.
Match-up to Watch
Carmelo Anthony vs. Anthony Davis
Davis was an elite defensive prospect coming out of college with an ability to impact a game on one side of the floor. In his short time in the league, Anthony has displayed an underrated offensive skill set, including a nice midrange jumper and around the bucket game. On Tuesday night, the Hornets will rely on Davis to defend the Knicks top scorer, Carmelo Anthony. In the past couple of games, Anthony has faced a difficult assignment trying to score and defend against Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph on Friday and David West and Roy Hibbert on Sunday at the Garden. Davis is not a physically imposing big man but he is a gifted shot blocker. For the first time in his young career, Davis will face one of, if not the most skilled offensive players in the NBA.
What to Look For
Without Gordon in the lineup, the Hornets simply lack the offensive firepower to win consistently at this point in the rebuilding process. New Orleans only scored 62 points in a loss to Philadelphia on November 7 and it has reached the century mark twice this season. Averaging just 93.1points per game could spell trouble for the Hornets against a Knicks squad that only surrenders 90 points per game, which is good for No. 1 in the NBA.