The New York Knicks come into their matchup against the Charlotte Hornets on an NBA-leading six-game win streak. The Knicks' latest victory came on Sunday night when they overcame the New Orleans Pelicans in overtime after Reggie Bullock made a clutch three with 2.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The Charlotte Hornets also come into this fixture on the back of a win, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers and arresting their four-game losing run. Without two of their leading scorers, the Hornets have struggled offensively, averaging only 101.5 points per game in their last five matchups. That figure does not bode well ahead of facing the New York Knicks, who boast the third-meanest defense.
Fixture - Charlotte Hornets vs. New York Knicks | 2020-21 NBA Season.
Date & Time - Monday, April 20th; 7:30 PM ET (Tuesday, April 21st; 5:00 AM IST).
Venue - Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Charlotte Hornets Preview
With leader Gordon Hayward still sidelined, the Charlotte Hornets are going to have to grind out every win from here on in if they are to make the NBA playoffs.
While their fixture list is not the hardest, fans will be eagerly anticipating Hayward's return, with Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier currently having to do their best to keep the Charlotte Hornets threat alive.
This matchup could be a precursor to a play-in tournament tie, with the two sides only separated by two games currently. While not particularly threatening on offense, the Charlotte Hornets have held five of their last seven opponents to less than 106 points and put up 127 points on a Giannis-less Milwaukee Bucks side.
Key Player - Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier has been on fire recently and has by far been the Charlotte Hornets' standout player in the absence of Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball. The point guard has averaged 21.4 points across his last 10 games - the most of any Hornets player - and has massively benefitted from earning more field-goal attempts (19.1).
It's not just points that Rozier has contributed. His all-round game has been exceptional, with the 27-year-old dishing out 5.2 dimes during that run in addition to grabbing 5.7 boards and 1.3 steals.
With no other Charlotte Hornets starter scoring more than 20 on Sunday night, Rozier put the team on his back and grabbed a massive 34 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists.
There is no doubt that the 27-year-old will be essential to the Charlotte Hornets' run-in if they are to make the playoffs.
Charlotte Hornets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Terry Rozier l Shooting Guard - Cody Martin l Small Forward - Jalen McDaniels l Power Forward - Miles Bridges l Center - Cody Zeller.
New York Knicks Preview
The New York Knicks have been on a roll recently, damaging the Pelicans' playoff hopes with two wins and overcoming the Dallas Mavericks on the road. Prior to their six-game winning run, the Knicks had been edged out in narrow losses to the Celtics and Nets. The frustration from those losses has translated into a mean winning streak, which shows just how far the franchise has come this season.
Tom Thibodeau has flipped the script and has regenerated a winning culture at the New York Knicks, the foundations of which come on the defensive end. The Knicks are extremely hard to beat, allowing the least points and forcing the hardest shots of any defense in the league.
The Knicks have plenty of experience throughout the starting side and off the bench, with RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley being their two most exciting young talents. Spearheading all of the success the New York Knicks have achieved so far is Julius Randle, who has transformed himself into an All-Star and a player who can lead his side in the coming years.
Key Player - Julius Randle
Julius Randle's 33 points and 10 assists on Sunday capped off yet another stellar performance from the 26-year-old this season. Randle has been integral in the New York Knicks' success this season, playing in 57 games and averaging the most minutes of any player in the league - 37.4.
Over the last four games, only Steph Curry has averaged more points than Randle's 35.8 per night. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks star has also grabbed three double-doubles in that time and two steals per game. Randle is having a career year across all of the common metrics except field-goal percentage.
But that is to be expected given the power forward averages 2.6 attempts per night - more than any of his previous seasons.
New York Knicks Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Elfrid Payton l Shooting Guard - RJ Barrett l Small Forward - Reggie Bullock l Power Forward - Julius Randle l Center - Nerlens Noel.
Hornets vs. Knicks Match Prediction
With home-court advantage and an elite defensive structure, the New York Knicks should extend their winning run in this matchup. The Knicks have experience in their backcourt through Elfrid Payton and Derrick Rose to keep Rozier quiet. Randle could have another monster game against the Hornets' young frontcourt.
We are expecting another low-scoring affair after the Charlotte Hornets ran out victors in the two sides' last meeting, winning 109-88.
Where to watch the Hornets vs. Knicks matchup
Fans in America can catch the game between the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks on the MSG Network and Bally Sports Southeast - Charlotte. With an NBA League Pass, you can stream the matchup live at any time.