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Portland Trail Blazers at Charlotte Hornets prevew

Will the Charlotte Hornets guards be able to contain the red hot Portland combo Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum?

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Portland Trail Blazers at Charlotte Hornets

When: 5:00 p.m. EST

Where: The Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

The Hornets are looking to bounce back after Friday night's loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls. Despite 28 points from Nicolas Batum, Charlotte wasn't able to upend a Bulls squad they blew out ten days before. Things won't get much easier as the team comes home to Time Warner Cable Arena, however.

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off of two losses in a row of their own as they travel to Charlotte. Despite their 4-6 record, they have had some impressive play from their two starting guards, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Both have been averaging over 20 points a game and have had some spectacular performances. The Hornets perimeter defense hasn't been as stingy with the absence of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hounding opposing guards, and this will be another tough test for Charlotte.

An interesting subplot will obviously be the trade that went down between these two teams in the summer. This will be Nicolas Batum's first game against his former team and vice versa for Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson. There is plenty of potential for a revenge game from either of those three players.

The key injury news for the Hornets in this game still revolves around Cody Zeller and whether or not he will be able to go. He was a late scratch against the Bulls due to an ankle sprain that he suffered. He is currently questionable for the Portland game, which will hurt their depth. Zeller is their only big that can provide any semblance of rim protection due to his athleticism and motor, meaning that the athletic Portland bigs such as Ed Davis and Mason Plumlee could feast on the Hornets' post players.

Both the Hornets and Trail Blazers love to shoot threes, ranking sixth and seventh respectively in three point attempts per game so far this season. The key for the Hornets will be to limit the Trail Blazers' transition game. Portland currently ranks eighth in transition possessions per game, utilizing the athleticism of their bigs to get out and run. Charlotte, on the other hand, ranks dead last in that stat, showing that they aren't necessarily loking to push the pace. If they can commit guys to getting and back and not letting Lillard and McCollum get open looks on the break, then the Hornets have a shot at bouncing back from their loss against the Bulls.