Key Matchup vs. New York Knicks: Marvin Williams vs. Kristaps Porzingis
The Charlotte Hornets will look to snap a two-game skid on Tuesday night when they take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, where they’ve dropped three of their last four meetings.
Marvin Williams has been rounding into form lately for the Hornets with averages of 11.4 points on 57.9 percent shooting (50.0 percent from three-point range) and 6.4 rebounds in his last five outings. The defensive specialist is also doing the dirty work with a team-high 0.8 loose balls recovered and 1.0 deflection per game (tied for third on the team).
With Carmelo Anthony out of the picture, Williams will get a lot of run against Kristaps Porzingis, who has officially been given the reins to the Knicks’ offense. The 7-3 Latvian has exploded in his third NBA season and currently ranks second in the NBA in scoring (30.2 points) and third in blocks (2.22) to go along with a career-high 7.8 rebounds per outing.
Porzingis’ size, length and versatility makes him arguably one of the toughest one-on-one covers in the NBA today. Most of his damage is coming via non-restricted-area paint (NBA-high 2.6 FGM) and mid-range shots (3.9 FGM; second in NBA), areas where Williams and the Hornets will need to be particularly attentive towards.