Jeremy Lamb, Jeremy Lamb, Jeremy Lamb. A night after recording a DNP (Did Not Play) in NYC, Lamb was a catalyst for the Hornets’ hot start tonight when he recorded 9 of his 18 points and 7 of his 17 rebounds in the first quarter. The Charlotte lead ballooned to as high as 21 but, for the second straight night, the Knicks overcame a large deficit. None-the-less, the Hornets ended their 4-game losing streak with a 107-102 win due to a combination of continued excellence from Kemba Walker, clutch shooting from Frank Kaminsky, and MKG’s effective defense on Carmelo Anthony.
With Nic Batum (Corneal Abrasion) and Marvin Williams (bone bruise and hyperextended knee) out due to injury, the Hornets starting lineup included Jeremy Lamb and Frank Kaminsky for the first time. This lineup’s ability to start fast and quickly erase the memory of last night’s tough loss is a testament to Coach Clifford and the professionalism embedded in this franchise presently.
Kemba Walker continues to show why he deserves to be an All-Star selection. His leadership was required every second of the 40 minutes he was on the court and, in addition to scoring 28 points, he led the game in blocked shots at 3 – a game which included at least 4 players 7 feet or taller. As noted above, Lamb was outstanding in his starting role tonight. His energy on both offense and defense was a huge boost, and he was highly efficient with the ball in his hands shooting 8-15 on field goals. Frank the Tank was up-and-down offensively tonight due to Kristaps Porzingis’s rim protection, but in crunch time he knocked down two huge threes the ensure the win. Porzingis also affected Zeller’s ability to finish in the paint tonight, but Cody’s aggressive cuts to the basket do wonders to open up things for others on the floor even if he isn’t scoring. Tonight was no different. It isn’t shown in the box score, but when he’s on the floor he makes the offense better.
The Hornets showed much better energy on the defensive side of the ball tonight. The Knicks had far fewer uncontested shots and their FG% fell to 38% from 47% the prior night. The Hornets also crashed the boards with an aggression they did not show in Madison Square Garden. In NYC, the Knicks out rebounded the Hornets by three rebounds. In Charlotte, the Hornets out rebounded the Knicks by 6. MKG’s crunch time defense on Melo also deserves a call out. After going 0-2 on isolations in the middle of the 4th quarter, Carmelo abandoned the block and instead played from the perimeter or attempted to facilitate for his teammates which benefitted Charlotte. Porzingis was a matchup nightmare all evening, but a committee of Hornet bigs did an admirable job making things challenging for him.
Also, this happened
Rick Flair was in the house tonight. Whooooo! Always nice when the celebrities are out to cheer on the home team.
Charlotte’s Line-up of Death – With 5 minutes to go in the game the following 3-guard lineup was on the court for the Hornets: Kemba, Sessions, Roberts, MKG, Zeller. While on the floor this group outscored the Knicks by 2. Don’t expect to see it again, but boy it was interesting!
Next Up – Nov. 28 – @ Memphis – 8:00p – Fox SportSouth