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Hornets take on the Wizards at home: Preview and how to watch

Charlotte hosts a surging Washington team sitting a top the Southeast Division.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

What: Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets

Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

When: 7 p.m. EST

How to watch: Fox Sports South, NBA League Pass

Both Charlotte and Washington have under gone dramatic shifts this season, but in opposite directions. Back in December, the Hornets were surging, while Washington was struggling to figure things out. Sitting at 9-14, the struggles from last season had carried over.

Three months later, and both teams have essentially swapped places, with Washington five games clear of Atlanta at the top of the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference, while Charlotte toils in near the bottom of the division and 11th in the East.

What a difference four months can make, and what a difference it has been for Bradley Beal. After four seasons of putting up solid, but inconsistent scoring numbers (injuries playing a part here), Beal has made significant leap this season, averaging a career best 23.2 points per game, while shooting 48.2 percent from the field, and 40.6 from 3. It’s the kind of numbers the Wizards have been looking for from Beal for years, and his emergence has helped shape them into the fifth highest scoring teams in the league.

John Wall sits right behind Beal, averaging 23 points to go with 10.9 assists per game. With a combined 46 points between them they have become one of the toughest backcourts in the league.

Handling those two will be difficult, but Charlotte will also have to deal with the nightmare of Bojan Bogdanovic, who Washington acquired at the trade deadline. Bogdanovic is averaging 15.6 points per game off the bench in the 13 he’s played since joining, which is good enough as it is, but in the four games Bogdanovic played against Charlotte while in Brooklyn, he averaging 19.5 points per game, knocking down over 40 percent of his 3-pointers. Given Charlotte’s inability to defend the 3-point line, Bojan could be in for another big night.

Charlotte will have to play extremely well and mistake free if they want to pull the upset. Playing well for two or three quarters isn’t going to cut it. Given the matchup, things could get ugly.

On the bright side, the Hornets have reportedly signed Briante Weber to a two-year contract. Weber’s second 10-day contract was set to expire tomorrow, but the Hornets have liked what they’ve seen from him since he assumed the backup point guard position over Brian Roberts. If there’s one thing to root for tonight, its a solid game from him.

Beyond Weber, keep an eye on Frank Kaminsky, who scored a team high 20 points in the loss against Indiana on Thursday. It wasn’t a memorable performance from Frank, who struggled from the 3-point line, but it was his best game since returning from injury.