When: 9:30 pm EST
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles
How: Fox Sports Southeast, Time Warner Cable SportsNet
The Hornets may have lost their last two, but they're playing some of their better basketball as of late. The ball seems to have finally stopped sticking, and the welcome addition of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist last game provided a much needed spark. Unfortunately, injuries have weakened their depth and caused issues when the second unit enters the game.
Luckily for Charlotte, tonight they play one of the worst teams in the NBA in the Lakers. Lets keep this short. The Lakers aren't a very good team, and the Hornets are supposed to be fighting for a playoff spot. In no way should this end in a loss for Charlotte despite how injured they are.
That said, the Lakers have been known to pull out a surprising win every once in awhile when teams sleep on them. Their youth in D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson are nothing to overlook. All these guys have shown flashes of potential at one point or another, and the only thing that's kept them locked down this year is Byron Scott being of the worst coaches in the NBA. He frequently benches rookies, Russell in particular, without so much as an explanation. He makes more headlines for his ridiculous post game comments than he does for his actual bad basketball team.
Then of course there's the Kobe Bryant factor. The Kobe of old is gone, and he has been replaced with a peaked out veteran that loves to fire up shots. Does this mean that he can't still go vintage and put on a show every once in awhile? Of course not. However, those games are few and far between these days, and he's more of a liability than a helpful veteran on the court.
The key for Charlotte tonight is to not let their second unit get ran out of the building. Whether that means a shake up to the rotation, which is unlikely since it's the middle of a road trip, or just simply playing smarter basketball remains to be seen. Either way the Lakers are a very beatable team, and even a battered Hornets squad should have no problems taking care of business tonight.
The Hornets finally got a player back from injury with Kidd-Gilchrist's return on Friday. However, P.J. Hairston left early with an elbow injury. He's been listed as probable for tonight so that's a good sign. It also looks like Jeremy Lin and Jeremy Lamb are both at questionable for tonight. Maybe we'll see a return from one of those two as well.
Unfortunately, it looks like whatever was ailing Batum has continued. He's out tonight, and it's likely that same toe injury he's been fighting for awhile. The injuries never do stop do they?
INJURY REPORT @hornets— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) January 30, 2016
Lin (R ankle) & Lamb (R toe) QUESTIONABLE
Hairston (L elbow) & Roberts (L hand) PROBABLE