The Knicks held it together for three quarters in a tightly contested defensive effort…before it all came apart in the final period against the Hornets.

As the Charlotte Hornets (24-25) attempt to scratch and claw their way to the playoffs, they defeated the New York Knicks (10-39) by a score of 101-92 behind the efforts Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb.

The last time these two teams met was on December 14th, 2018, when an Emmanuel Mudiay–led New York side shocked Charlotte in overtime, beating them 126-124. It was the Knicks’ ninth win of the season—and not much as improved since then. The team has now won 10 games, total, which translates to just 1-18 in the past month and a half.

New York is now dealing with several key injuries to Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, and Luke Kornet. In need of guard help, the team recalled Kadeem Allen from Westchester, who had a noticeable impact the minute he hit the floor.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks out of the gate, scoring 10 points in the first quarter—finishing the game with 10 boards, too—which helped keep them in the game. With Noah Vonleh’s struggles continuing, Mitchell Robinson has seized this opportunity and continued to seriously impress. In the first half, Robinson went 3-of-3 with eight points, two blocks, and a steal.

Tied heading into the fourth quarter, New York held Charlotte to just 36.8 percent shooting from the field and just 20.8 percent from deep. The Knicks, meanwhile, had 10 different scorers through three quarters. Still struggling from deep, the team attacked the paint rigorously, getting to the line 22 times.

Falling behind 81-75 in the early fourth, the Knicks called a timeout in attempt to swing back the momentum they gained in the third. New York then completely unraveled, as Mario Hezonja and Noah Vonleh committed two costly turnovers, followed by a Walker step-back three-pointer to increase the lead to nine.

The Charlotte Hornets pulled away midway through the fourth, and the Knicks, who once led by nine points in the 3rd, lost by a total of nine points. Here are a few takeaways from tonight’s game.

The Knicks Have A Point Guard Problem

Trey Burke is not The Answer.

Nor is he the answer to the Knicks’ point guard problems. With Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina out due to injuries, possibly for the next week or two, this will certainly be a test for David Fizdale and Co.

While Burke has put up points, he is detrimental to team play. When he’s not hitting his shots, he’s useless. Unlike Mudiay who can attack the paint with ease, Burke is too small to finish at the rim. With Allonzo Trier now on the roster, Burke’s skill set is now redundant.

Prior to tonight’s game, Allen was recalled from Westchester to replace some of the minutes typically given to Mud and Ntilikina. Allen did surprisingly well in his first NBA game of the 2018-19 season. He posted eight points, five rebounds, and three assists and 18 minutes and made an instant impact upon his arrival.

Still, relying on Allen is a mistake. Overhyping Kadeem Allen is also a mistake. There is a reason he was in the G League, and it’s because once opposing teams file scouting reports on him, he will be significantly less effective.

Rebounding Woes and Enes Kanter’s DNP-CD’s

Fizdale has clearly opted for perimeter defense and switchability, but it has come at a cost of rebounding. The Knicks have now been out-rebounded by opponents 159 to 117 in the last three games, a difference of 42.

Enes Kanter has become insubordinate, and there’s no doubt about it. He claims he’s a team player, but in reality he’s self-centered and, perhaps, concerned about his next contract, which is completely fair. Regardless of this awkward situation, Kanter leads New York in rebounds, averaging 10.8 a game, four of which are offensive.

As the Knicks continue to be out-rebounded, the losses pile up. Now having lost 10 in a row, can the Knicks afford to develop another team weakness? As Fizdale so eloquently puts it, “What are we gonna do, lose more games?”

Hello, Kevin!

According to Fizdale, Kevin Knox has hit a rookie wall. While this is completely normal, the pundits have been relatively calm in comparison to Frank Ntilikina’s rookie season. That said, Knox’s numbers the previous five games were not encouraging, averaging 28 minutes, 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and one assist on a miserable 25 percent field goal percentage, 18 percent shooting from deep, and 54 percent from the charity stripe.

Knox rebounded against the Charlotte Hornets, showing the shooting-touch that has Knicks fans salivating. Knox posted 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting and three boards in 35 minutes. Hitting 3-of-4 from deep, Knox was the only Knick tonight who posed as an outside threat. Excluding his makes, the Knicks were just 4-for-19 (21 percent) from deep, and Charlotte picked up on it.

Knox also showed off his passing abilities, though it may not reflect in the box score. He set up teammates with sweet passes to backdoor cutters, which they missed, while also acting as the ball-handler in pick-and-roll situations several times. It was a nice return-to-form game for the small forward—and did I mention that he’s just 19 years old?!