Charlotte Hornets Report - Week of December 1st - 7th
Last 4 Games:
- @ Atlanta Hawks: L, 123-124
- vs. Milwaukee Bucks: W, 110-107
- vs. Atlanta Hawks: W, 108-94
- vs. Utah Jazz: L, 111-119
The Charlotte Hornets, yet again, split a four-game stretch at two apiece and are back to a .500 record for the year. This was the week for the team to capitalize on one of the weaker slate of games that they will face all season. The game against the Hawks on the road was a very bad loss for the team, but the next game they made up for it with a win against a very good Milwaukee Bucks squad. In the loss against the Jazz, the Hornets were simply beaten by the better team. The Jazz shot very well from the field and were on fire from 3. Tony Parker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist reentered the Hornets lineup earlier this week and you can tell that they make the team tremendously better when they are on the court. The MVP in the last four has to be Jeremy Lamb. He has stepped up for Charlotte this year and has been key for the team in the scoring department. Excluding the home game against the Hawks, Marvin Williams has been a solid performer as well. We are starting to see Miles Bridges getting more comfortable in the NBA setting, which is going to be interesting how he will be utilized going forward. One thing to be concerned in the upcoming week is Cody Zeller’s injury status. He exited the game against the Jazz after just 7 minutes.
For this week’s upcoming slate of games, the Hornets have three tough Western Conference opponents coming up. They will be facing the New Orleans Pelicans at home, the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road, and will come back home to square off with the Denver Nuggets. These teams all have some the game’s best big men and will definitely cause chaos for the Hornets defense. The Hornets have only played two games against Western Conference foes this season. The two games were against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Hornets lost both of those games.
The first matchup of the three-game stretch will be against “The Brow” and his New Orleans Pelicans. This is a home game for the Hornets, which is a welcoming sight, because they have played well in The Hive this season. As far as points per game go, the Pelicans have the 2nd best offense and 4th worst defense in the NBA. All eyes are going to be on Anthony Davis in this matchup. Davis has been dominant against the Hornets in his career, averaging 27.2 PPG and 11.8 RPG in 12 career games. Look for this game to be a high scoring affair.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are the next game on the slate for Charlotte. This is a road game and the Hornets are only winning 30% of their away games on the year thus far. Since trading away Jimmy Butler, the T-Wolves have a 7-2 record and they are now looking like the team we were expecting going into the season. Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the best big men in the game and obviously the Hornets will be extra cautious in this matchup. Towns is shooting 40% for 3 on the year and the fact that he just turned 23 a couple weeks ago is insane. Another player I’m keeping an eye on is Derrick Rose. Rose has been solid for the Wolves this year, including a 50-point performance against the Jazz on Halloween. Minnesota is a team that is very careful with the ball, they have the 5thlowest turnover rate in the NBA. For Charlotte to win this one, they have to capitalize on Minnesota’s mistakes.
The Hornets will head back home to face the Denver Nuggets in a Friday night game. This matchup will be another tough one for the Hornets, because the Nuggets are currently one of the best teams in basketball. They are sitting at 2nd in the West and are tied for 2nd among the league’s best defenses. One of my favorite players to watch in basketball right now is Nikola Jokic. His current slash line is 16.4/9.8/7.1 for the 2018-19 season. “The Joker” is arguably the best passing big man in the game and he can beat you from the 3-point line as well. Not only is Jokic one of my favorite players to watch, the Nuggets are a really fun team to watch as well. They are a very young and talented team and if they stay together for a couple more years, look for them to make a run for the Western Conference title.