Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist returns to Bobcats, in starting lineup Tuesday

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Charlotte’s defense — the reason they were surprising teams and winning games early in the season — has been inconsistent of late.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could help change that — after being out with a fractured hand since the first week of December, he is set to return to the Charlotte lineup on Tuesday night against the Knicks, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Kidd-Gilchrist will wear a protective glove on his hand.

He’s not getting eased back in, either — first night back, he gets to guard Carmelo Anthony. And it is not lightening up from there.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $50,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,500. Starts at 7pm ET on Tuesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Charlotte has lost eight of their last 10 and during that time has surrendered 109.5 points per 100 possessions — the first 20 games of the season they allowed 97.5. The loss of Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeffery Taylor (Achilles) had a lot to do with that.

We’ll see if Kidd-Gilchrist can help swing the Bobcats’ fortunes around.

Bradley Beal drives around, dunks over Kristaps Porzingis (VIDEO)

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If you’re a Knicks fan, the positive is that at least Kristaps Porzingis tried to make a play.

But he was not going to stop the athletic Bradley Beal with a full head of steam, and the result was a Beal dunking over Porzingis as he tries to block the attempt.

Beal wasn’t sharp, scoring 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. The Knicks has an efficient Carmelo Anthony and that got them the win.

Carmelo Anthony drops 21 on Wizards in preseason Friday

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We had an efficient Carmelo Anthony sighting in the preseason.

Anthony and the Knicks went up against the Wizards and ‘Melo hit 10-of-15 shots to score 21 points. He also had four rebounds and four assists.

Derrick Williams had 23 points on 11 shots to lead the Knicks in scoring, and New York won 115-104.