I normally don’t review basketball games in the middle of the NBA season, but this one was a little special to me. The reason why was that I was in attendance at Madison Square Garden (MSG) watching this game. It was my first time going to the Garden since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and I went with a few of my friends.
Before I go into the game itself I want to say MSG has looked a lot better with the improvements they made since I last left. They have made more places to shop around the building. No more going into the main shop downstairs and taking awhile to go back up to the seat. That makes things a lot easier. I loved the way the improved the lighting at MSG as last time I went something was off about the lighting and I thought it was a little too dim. I could go on and on but they did a fantastic job making MSG better since I last went.
So we get to this game and for the New York Knicks in this game I mean there really is not much else to say. This team quit on the coaching staff in the last minutes of play. Julius Randle was one of those players. What a fall a year can make as here was a guy who was a rising star in the NBA, was received a max contract, was one of the leaders of the locker room and ever since he got paid he has just falled apart. I belive the trade rumors are true but I doubt anyone would want to acquire Randle on there team for now. Hopefully he finishes strong but his contract has not been a postive for the team. It also hurts that he still looked hurt as he kept rubbing his knee the whole night. This team looked unprepared in the 1st quarter and I got to say it is not an if at this point but when Tom Thibodeau gets fired. I would be shocked if he is the coach for the Knicks next season. I have to be honest I don’t understand what this team is doing to Obi Toppen giving him 12 minutes of play as he has been playing well lately. I have not been a fan that Thibodeau did not give him more minutes and rest Randle who was hurt. Speaking of minutes lets get to Alan Burks. He was awful in this game especially with him on defense he did not do a great job guarding Obure and Washington. How he got 40 minutes of play is just crazy to me.
Now RJ Barrett and Evan Fournier was terrific. Immanuel Quickley he was pretty good with his performance and could be a part of the future for the Knicks. But this team still has a lot of work to go and I am not ruling out that Randle will be here long term.
The Hornets in this game had a great performance in this game. LaMelo did his job well and surprisingly he was great at making assists as he had 15 assists in this game. I believe that that is the most assists he made all season which again which is something I like to see along with him scoring 20 points. Miles Bridges was excellent and scored 31 points in this game including making all 4 of his 3 point shots. Kelly Obure Jr. wasn’t a starter but he had a great performance especially making 8-11 field goals. While the Hornets did win this game their defense has been terrible. Mason Plumlee is terrible and I like Montrezl Harrell but he is solid on offense and a bit of a liability on defense. But overall the Hornets had a strong performance and even though I was nervous in the middle of the 4th quarter the team got the job done.
I really like what the Hornets have going now. As a fan of this team this has been the most hyped I have been in years. With how well this team has been on offense it is a great sign. LaMelo Ball has been excellent for the Hornets and is a young star teams need to watch. Him and Miles Bridges should be a part of this team in the long term. I am going to say this now but please sign Miles Bridges to another contract and don’t lowball him like you did during last offseason. It would make me not happy seeing Bridges not be a part of this team for the next few years. Terry Rozier despite my anger for the Hornets lowballing Kemba Walker for the his services, has been better than I thought he would be. Kelly Obure Jr has been an excellent edition to the team. PJ Washington has been okay through his time In Charlotte. Motrezel Harrell has been solid on offense as well. By the way the Hornets are currently 2nd in the NBA in assists which is very cool.
The only three problems that I see with the Hornets is that there defense is horrible, how this team will look when Gordan Heyward comes back as shocker he got injured (What else is new), and I am not too confident in the coaching staff James Borrego especially. What would help is getting to the second round of the playoffs which I think the Hornets can do.
I am excited to see happens to the Hornets in the next few years. I just wish Kemba Walker was playing in this game as he was my favorite player on the Hornets and no matter what team he is on I will always root. As a fan of the Charlotte Hornets I am happy as ever leaving MSG with my favorite team winning and had an enjoyable experience at Madison Square Garden.