Knicks Preview: Keys to Defeating the Charlotte Hornets

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Dec 5, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots the ball over Charlotte Hornets center

Cody Zeller

(40) during the first half at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

1. Carmelo Anthony

Entering the ninth game of the season, it’s finally coming together for Carmelo Anthony. He still hasn’t returned to his normal and desired level of efficiency, but the signs are promising.

Over the past two games, Anthony is averaging 24.5 points on 41.9 percent shooting from the field.

That isn’t great, but it’s certainly better than what he’d been doing. Excluding the 37-point anomaly against the Washington Wizards, Anthony entered the Knicks’ November 8 game against the Los Angeles Lakers with inconsistency behind him.

Anthony scored less than 20 points in four of five games, shooting 37.5 percent or worse from the field in all four of those outings.

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In wins over the Lakers and Toronto Raptors, however, Anthony began to find his legs. He shot 40.0 and 43.5 percent from the field, respectively, and matched a season-high with three steals against the Raptors.

Anthony’s field goal percentage has improved in four straight games, as have his points in three. Those trends will need to continue against Nicolas Batum and the Charlotte Hornets.