Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
When: 7:00 p.m. EST
The Charlotte Hornets play in the Spectrum Center for the first time tonight. After Wednesday’s loss to the Detroit Pistons, they could use a bounce back.
They host the Atlanta Hawks, a team rebuilding after losing Paul Milsap in free agency and trading Dwight Howard to the Hornets. The latter will grab the headlines, but shouldn’t matter in the end result.
More than anything, Charlotte needs to take better care of the ball. 17 turnovers led to 25 points for Detroit on Wednesday. Cut down on the turnovers and you cut down on the points off turnovers (duh), which means the Pistons probably don’t win by 12. It’s simple math.
(Shot of me making sense of this math).
But in all seriousness, there’s sound reasoning behind Steve Clifford’s emphasis on limiting turnovers: they lead to easy buckets for other team and shift momentum.
Charlotte can cut down on them by being a little more organized, particular in the second unit. It was clear that group wasn’t used to playing together, but more concerning is that they lacked a ball handler capable of organizing them. That’s not surprising when Juylan Stone has missed most of preseason and Malik Monk is still learning to play the point at he professional level. This is where Nicolas Batum comes in handy, but I digress.
Despite losing Milsap, Atlanta has a few remaining pieces from its not-so-long-ago glory days. Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore are the focal points now, while Mike Muscala and Dewayne Dedmon are solid supporting pieces. Schroder finished with 28 points and seven assists on Wednesday night in a win over Dallas, while former Hornet Marco Beninelli dropped 20 points on 4-6 from the 3-point line. Also keep an eye out for rookie John Collins, who had 14 points and five rebounds in his professional debut.
That said, this should be a win for Charlotte. The Hornets are more talented and have a deeper roster, even without two starters. But knowing this team’s luck, Belinelli will drop 35 and the Hornets will lose by four.
For Charlotte (It’s not good):
INJURY REPORT: @hornets vs. ATL 10/20— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) October 20, 2017
Batum (L Elbow) & Carter-Williams (knees) OUT
Zeller (R knee bone bruise) is OUT
MKG (personal) NWT
Zeller’s absence is unexpected, and will stretch the team’s bench. Expect Kaminsky at the five, and playing time for Johnny O’Bryant III.
- No Miles Plumlee, as he is sidelined until November with a quadriceps injury.