When: 10:30 PM EST
Where: Staples Center
TV: Fox Sports South, FSN Prime Ticket, League Pass
Oh boy..this is not a team the Charlotte Hornets wanted to play after last night's thrashing to the Utah Jazz. Tonight the Hornets are on a back to back in LA, and their opponent is the playoff bound Los Angeles Clippers. LAC is currently on a two game losing streak, but they go in to tonight's matchup with rest and playoff seeding on the line. The Hornets meanwhile have toppled all the way down to 10th place in the East from just one loss, and now they're in a situation that many describe as a schedule loss.
Nothing is official yet, but it's expected that Cody Zeller will probably not play tonight either, and even though he wouldn't have helped prevent last night's shellacking, the constant players being taken in and out of the starting lineup is beginning to take its toll. It's been quite awhile since Charlotte had a fully healthy starting lineup, and the lack of consistency there has to be taking it's toll on the team as a whole. Slow starts similar to the beginning of the season are back in full force, and this can be attributed to players not comfortable playing with each other yet, but it's really not excusable at this point of the season. Yes, Marvin Williams isn't used to playing with the starting lineup, and Mo Wiliams is a new addition to the rotation all together, but does that really result in consistently getting beat in the fourth quarter?
On the other side of things are the Clippers. LAC just returned to full strength with Blake Griffin returning from a staph infection in his elbow, and that makes them damn terrifying. A popular dark horse selection to win the title this year, the Clippers haven't lived up to everybody's expectations as a title contender, but they're still good enough to knock off some of the best in the NBA on any given night. The Hornets, on a back to back, are not one of the best in the NBA. Hell, they aren't one of the best in the NBA with a few days of rest. Charlotte is gonna have to play a near perfect game tonight to give themselves any chance, and even then that might not be enough.