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Hornets vs Pacers: Game Preview

Lance Stephenson faces off against his former team for the first time.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Gametime: 7:00 p.m.

Where: Time Warner Cable Arena

TV: Doesn't look like it.

The Hornets return to Charlotte after two back-to-back road games to take on the Indiana Pacers. Attention will likely be on Lance Stephenson, as this will be his first time playing against his former team since signing with Charlotte (if he does indeed play after sitting out Tuesday with an injury).

Stephenson's departure hurt Indiana when it happened, and even more so after the horrific injury to Paul George. David West is also hurt, and George Hill injured himself during their last preseason game. The Pacers have injury issues to say the least, and are likely looking for preseason to wrap up before anyone else gets hurt.

The Pacers semi-replaced Stephenson with Rodney Stuckey, who needed a change of scenery after his career had seemingly stalled in Detroit. The team also signed C.J. Miles, who is a capable 3-point shooter.

Before this summer the Pacers still figured to be a contender in the East this season. With the departure of Lance and the injuries to George, West, and Hill, there are questions as to whether this team has enough to make the playoffs.

The Hornets received a couple days of rest after their overtime loss to Atlanta Tuesday. Al Jefferson, Marvin Williams, and Lance Stephenson sat out Tuesday, so they should have plenty of energy (though we'll see if Stephenson is healthy enough to go).

Cody Zeller is coming off his best game of the preseason, in which he scored 18 points on 8-11 shooting, along with eight rebounds. Putting together consistently strong performances is the next step for him, so another good night would be a big boost for him.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 10 points Tuesday, but let's reflect on the fact that he had 15 shot attempts. He only shot 5-15, but totalling 15 shot attempts last season typically came across a number of games. This aggressiveness to shoot the ball shows just how much is confidence has grown on the offensive end. While he's proving he can finish at the rim, I'll be tracking his percentage from jump shots. He was 3-4 from midrange against Chicago, but only 1-5 against Atlanta.

I'll also be following Noah Vonleh. He played in his first preseason game Tuesday, scoring four points, along with three rebounds. Clifford mentioned he would be taking it slow with the rookie, so we'll see how many minutes he gets after getting 19 Tuesday.