What: Charlotte Hornets vs Los Angeles Clippers
When: Feb. 11, 2017 at 5 p.m.
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: WFNZ 610 AM, WFNZ 102.5 FM
It seemed like the Charlotte Hornets might have stopped the bleeding, squeaking out a much-needed win against the Brooklyn Nets. The bottom fell out against the Houston Rockets, one of the best teams in the league, and now the Hornets host Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers.
I believe it’s well established at this point – 2017 has been a bad year for Charlotte. Still, they can’t lose forever and thanks to a weak Eastern Conference, they’re still without a hair of making the playoffs again this year.
If they want to jump start that possibility, there might not be a better time than against a Chris Paul-less Los Angeles squad that hasn’t been playing their best basketball of late.
Overstating the value of home court for the Hornets would be difficult. Despite their awful slide, they still have a solid home record of 16-11. In fact, Charlotte hasn’t won a road game since December 28th of last year when they visited the Orlando Magic. Since then, all six Hornets victories have come at the Spectrum Center.
For the Clippers, beyond the devastating loss of Chris Paul, they still have Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and sharp-shooting J.J. Redick. Griffin has been playing good basketball and his teammate, Jordan, will be competing in the Slam Dunk Contest in New Orleans next weekend.
Despite the caliber of players still on the floor, LA has been on a slide of their own. The Clips are 3-7 in their last 10 games and, like most teams in the NBA, are worse on the road than at home.
One player that has made his impact known this season is Cody Zeller. Turns out that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone and when Zeller is gone, Charlotte doesn’t look like the playoff team of last season. Zeller will be a game-time decision, but the road to a win will be much harder if he’s unavailable.
If Zeller doesn’t go, there’s always the Frank Kaminsky experience. The positioning of Kaminsky at center has been intriguing and seeing it for one more game might be a good thing.
This is the first meeting between this teams this season. They’ll meet again on February 26th in Los Angeles. Hopefully, the Hornets get rolling again and head into that rematch looking for a sweep.