When: 1:30 AM EST
Where: Shenzhen Universiade Center, Shenzhen, China
TV: NBA TV
For the first time in history, a NBA game will be played in Shenzhen, China, and the Hornets are fortunate enough to be a part of it. In their first game since the severity of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's injury was known, Charlotte will take the floor to give us a glance at what the team can expect without their star forward.
The team has already shown signs that they will look vastly different from last season, particularly on offense. A year ago, coach Steve Clifford talked about how the team was going to spread out the floor to give Al Jefferson more room to work in the post. Through two preseason games, the Charlotte Hornets are doing just that. The team is averaging 30 attempted threes per game (sixth in the NBA), making 12 a game (tops in the NBA). That means the team is shooting 40 percent from deep (second-best in the NBA), a HUGE improvement from a year ago.
Yes, it is through just two preseason games, but it is great to see the team actually spreading the floor and taking more deep shots. Whether that'll continue remains to be seen, but that is another story for another day.
Other things to keep an eye on:
1. The Chinese fans. China loves basketball. It is the number one team sport in the country, with 300 million playing the game, and is the most followed sports league on social media. This is what Chinese fans at soccer games look like.
If nothing else, the game should be worth tuning in just to see the type of atmosphere the fans will create.
2. Lance Stephenson. Hey, remember him? This will be the first time that Stephenson will play his former team. Stephenson's time in Charlotte was brief and, for the most part, forgettable. It will be interesting to see how (or if) Stephenson fits in with his new team.