The inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament group stage will end with the New York Knicks hosting the Charlotte Hornets. The Knicks still have a chance to advance to the knockout rounds, but a win in this game would be crucial, making it an option in basketball NBA picks.
The Hornets lost their last game 130-117 to the Orlando Magic, but they managed to keep it close until early in the fourth quarter. The Knicks also lost, falling to the Phoenix Suns 116-113 ib a 3-pointer with 1.7 on the clock.
Ball Injury Dims Odds for Hornets
While Charlotte’s loss to Orlando might not significantly affect the bet line in the NBA, LaMelo Ball’s injury, which he suffered during the game, surely will. Ball has been undeniably the best player on the Hornets, averaging 24.7 points and 8.2 rebounds. He has been the only bright spot in a season that will not feature many wins.
INJURY UPDATE: @hornets at NYK 11/28
James Bouknight (L Knee) is probable
LaMelo Ball (R Ankle) is doubtful
Nick Richards (concussion protocol), Cody Martin (L Knee), Frank Ntilikina (L Tibia) are out
— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) November 27, 2023
However, Ball’s injury might not be as bad as it looked when it first happened. He is listed as doubtful for the game against the Knicks instead of out. Still, he has a slim chance of playing, which will affect NBA spreads on the Hornets.
The injury to Ball does possibly come at a bad time for the Hornets, who had won the two games before the loss to the Magic. Plus, the Hornets had just gotten Terry Rozier back from injury and he put up 22 points and nine assists against the Magic. Furthermore, Miles Bridges is settling in since returning from his suspension, averaging 21.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in five games.
However, when the Hornets played the Knicks on Nov. 18, they lost 122-108 and were blown out early, even though Ball scored 34 points. It could be an even more lopsided game if Ball does not play.
Knicks in Solid In-Season Tournament Position
The Knicks are in an interesting place for the In-Season Tournament but have decent NBA odds to advance to the knockout rounds. They are currently in the only Wild Card spot for the East, with a seven-point lead in point differential over the Miami Heat.
There is also a chance that New York can win the group because the Heat are playing the Milwaukee Bucks, the current leader of East Group B. A win for the Knicks and Heat would mean all three teams finish group play with a 3-1 record, and the tiebreaker would go down to a point differential.
This does put some extra value into the Knicks’ beating the Hornets and winning this game by a lot. In their last meeting, which was 10 days ago, the Knicks won by 14 points. That does help lean NBA lines in favor of the Knicks doing something similar.
Jalen Brunson scored 32 points in that Hornets win and 35 in the Knicks’ most recent loss to the Suns. Julius Randle also had 21 points in the Hornets’ win and is coming into this matchup after scoring 28 against the Suns. Both of the Knicks’ star players are coming into this game hot after already showing they can put up points against the Hornets.
Hornets vs Knicks Game Information
- Game: Hornets (5-10) vs. Knicks (9-7)
- Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
- Day/Time: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Hornets vs Knicks Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Hornets vs Knicks Best Bet
It’s hard not to back the Knicks for NBA picks. They’ll need a big win against the Hornets to secure a spot in the knockout rounds of the In-Season Tournament, and they’ve proven they can do that.
NBA Best Bet: New York Knicks -12 -110
Hornets vs Knicks Betting Lines
Questions Of The Day
Which Hornets player is the most likely to score more than 26 points?
With LaMelo Ball potentially out, the next best scoring option on the Hornets is Terry Rozier, who can be a spark-plug scorer.
Which team has more probability of winning the first half?
The Knicks will try to win this game in a blowout and that could start in the first half.