Who: Charlotte Hornets vs Orlando Magic
Where: Time Warner Cable Arena. Charlotte, NC.
Time: 8:00 p.m.
TV/ Radio: Fox Sports Southeast/ WFNZ 610 AM.
Lets get right to it. Charlotte can finish no higher than the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. If Charlotte and Miami both win, or if the Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, and Boston Celtics win then Charlotte captures the five seed. If Charlotte loses, or if Charlotte and Boston win, and Atlanta loses then the Hornets fall to the fifth seed.
Charlotte could end up facing the Hawks, Miami Heat, or Celtics depending on how that all shakes out. It's all unknown at this point. All three teams are well coached with various strengths and weaknesses. Charlotte looks to be facing a tough matchup with which ever team they are seeded against. The focus tonight is about facing the Orlando Magic.
Orlando is still that struggling team that it has been since Dwight Howard was traded. The teams always been an odd mix of poor shooting, young guys that have struggled to fit together, and some subpar coaching. Orlando will be without guard Victor Oladipo and they might be without rising power forward Aaron Gordon. Both have been suffering with a concussion, and Oladipo has been ruled out for the Hornets game. Orlando is a team that's continuing to find it's identity and ideal player combinations for the team to continue forward. Charlotte beat a well-coached Boston Celtics, and frankly they shouldn't have any trouble beating this Orlando team. Especially if Coach Clifford is committed to playing all healthy players. However, Orlando has given them issues in the past and the Hornets have lost games they should have won before.
More important than anything tonight will be staying healthy, and figuring out how they want to run things come playoff time. This is nothing more than a tune up game that also happens to have playoff implications.