Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, Ca
When: 9:30 EST
The Charlotte Hornets have to be feeling pretty good about themselves as a team. They're 3-3, but they're on a two-game winning streak; highlighted by Lance Stephenson's game winner in double OT in Atlanta.
As for their opponent tonight, the Los Angeles Lakers, not so much. Currently, the Lakers are 0-5 and have looked every bit the part.
Kobe Bryant is their leading scorer-- that hasn't changed. After Bryant's 174 total points scored, guess who's second? Jordan Hill with 74 and the next closest after that is in the 50's. There really haven't been any reliable scoring options beyond Byrant this season, so they've just relied on Kobe to shoot 24.4 times per game-- easily twice as much as the next guy.
It certainly doesn't help their cause offensively when they can't move the ball very well. Ranked 24th in assists per game may seem encouraging among the other numbers, but less so when you're 28th in total assists. No doubt this contributes to their low field goal percentages all over the floor since ball movement encourages good offense.
Their problems aren't just limited to the offense; they're also apparent defensively. The Lakers have successfully become one of the league's worst defensive teams. No team has a higher opponent's three point percentage, and one other team allows their opponents a higher field goal percentage.
Combined with being ranked second-to-last in defensive rebounds per game (It wouldn't be fair to use total when they have played one less game than the Clippers), and the Lakers really have a hard time stopping their opponents from doing anything. Miss your (probably) wide open shot? No problem, there will probably be a second chance basket waiting for you.
OK, so they can't shoot, pass, or rebound. What do the Lakers do well? I guess they don't turn the ball over a lot, and have been the 10th best team in protecting the ball. Which doesn't mean much given their other weaknesses. That's like having a Lexus, but not having a license to do anything with it. Los Angeles hasn't turned the ball over much, but they aren't able to do anything because of it.
If there's something that could be something to watch for the Hornets, the Lakers do get to the line a decent amount. They have the fourth-best FT:FGA ratio in the league, while also being ninth best in free throw attempts per game. When they get there, the Lakers are the 18th best team in the league making them, so they're almost average!
While the Lakers may be a bad team, the Hornets will still have to take care of business. This is a great opportunity to make up some ground in the Southeast and get some momentum rolling After all, what's better than a two-game winning streak? A three game winning streak.
Los Angeles: Steve Nash and Julius Randle are out for the season. Nick Young is out indefinitely. However, Ryan Kelly is doubtful for tonight's game and Jeremy Lin is probable.
Charlotte: none listed.