Tom Thibodeau and the New York Knicks host the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire).
- The New York Knicks are 5.5-point favorites versus the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday (May 15th, 1 pm ET)
- New York is 12-3 ATS at home this season
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
The New York Knicks are playoff bound for the first time since 2013. The only questions now are what seed they will finish the regular season as, and who will their opening round opponent be? New York has two games remaining on its schedule, beginning on Saturday (May 15th, 1 pm ET) against Charlotte at Madison Square Gardens.
Hornets vs Knicks Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at FanDuel||Total|
|Charlotte Hornets||+5.5 (-110)||+194||O 212.5 (-110)|
|New York Knicks||-5.5 (-110)||-235||U 212.5 (-110)|
Odds as of May 14th.
The Knicks opened up as a 5.5-point favorite, in a game that features a total of 212.5. New York currently owns the same record as fifth place Miami in the East, but rank sixth due to a tiebreak. Sixth place is the lowest they can finish, while there’s still chance for them to finish fourth and earn home court advantage in the first round of the postseason.
Knicks Rally Past Spurs
In order to do so, they’ll need to leapfrog the Heat, and fourth place Atlanta, who they trail by half a game, with a game in hand. Last time out, New York engineered a fantastic second half comeback versus San Antonio, erasing a 17-point lead en route to a 102-98 victory.
KNICKS WIN! pic.twitter.com/ZfDbyTM61N
— x – NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) May 14, 2021
Alec Burks, back from a three-game absence due to a knee injury, led the way with a season-high 30 points, while Julius Randle added 25 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds. The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Month fell just short of his sixth triple-double, but did post at least 24 points for the fifth time in seven games this month.
OUR ENGINE. pic.twitter.com/zHSu0lxHQn
— x – NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) May 14, 2021
RJ Barrett meanwhile, scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half, and the Knicks held an opponent below 100 points for the 20th time in 2021. They rank first in the NBA in points allowed, enemy field-goal percentage, and no team is better at defending the three.
Aside from Mitchell Robinson, who’s done for the season, New York has no major injury concerns to deal with, but the same cannot be said for the Hornets.
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Charlotte Stung By Clippers
Charlotte is missing both Gordon Hayward (foot) and Miles Bridges (COVID), their second and sixth leading scorers. Hayward hasn’t played since the beginning of April and won’t be ready for the Play-In Tournament, while Bridges has been ruled out for Saturday’s game as well.
The Hornets currently sit 8th in the East, but could wind up as low as 10th if they drop their final two games. They’ve lost three straight, and seven of their past 10, including most recently against the LA Clippers. Charlotte was stung 113-90 by LAC, in large part due to a horrendous shooting performance. They shot 37.3% from the floor, and 27.3% from three, and are now 8-14 since Hayward went down.
Final from Buzz City. #AllFly pic.twitter.com/cpL9sF3los
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) May 14, 2021
LaMelo Ball led the way versus the Clips with 18 points and 7 assists, strengthening his Rookie of the Year case, but the team is averaging only 104 points per game during their current losing streak. Given that the league’s top defense is on deck, don’t expect a major offensive output on Saturday.
Knicks Keep 4th Place Dream Alive
The Knicks have been fantastic at home this season, posting a 23-11 mark. They’re 14-1 straight up at MSG as a favorite, and 12-3 ATS as home chalk. They’re healthier, in better form, and have a ton of motivation with 4th place still in their sights.
The Hornets on the other hand, will stumble into the Play-In Tournament no matter how they fare over the final two games, and have struggled on the road this season. They’ve failed to cover in four straight road contests, losing outright by 9 points or more in three of those outings. Charlotte is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games overall, and given its offensive struggles coupled with New York’s elite defense, Buzz City is in for a long afternoon at MSG.
Pick: New York Knicks -5.5 (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.