When: 3:30 p.m. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA TV
The Charlotte Hornets attempted to make a huge fourth quarter comeback against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. While the effort was certainly there throughout the second half, Joel Embiid was too much to handle. The Hornets dropped another close game to the Sixers which means five of the Hornets six losses have been by four points or less. It is an excruciating stat to think about and the team will look get back on track against the Detroit Pistons.
Similar to the Sixers, the Pistons have a great frontcourt featuring Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. The two play very differently and their development (specifically Griffin’s) has been fun to watch. The former Clipper is averaging 25.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and five assists per game in the teams first 11 games. Drummond has put up 19.3 points, 16.1 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1.5 blocks per game. Together, the two have led the Pistons to a solid start the season.
If Friday’s game is any indication of whats to come for Sunday’s tilt with the Pistons, the Hornets must contain these two players. Cody Zeller fouled out of Friday’s game because Joel Embiid is able to draw a foul call every time he touches the ball. He can’t do that against this frontcourt duo although they play a lot differently than Embiid does. With one of the Hornets biggest weaknesses being rebounding, expect the two bigs for the Pistons to grab a lot of boards in this game.
Kemba Walker didn’t shoot well on Friday, but was the main reason why the Hornets were able to climb back into the game. He is averaging 28.3 points per game and continues to carry the franchise on his back every night. However, Malik Monk and Jeremy Lamb have to improve their efficiency so that Walker can get some help in that area.
It is interesting to see that James Borrego has started to give his young wings a chance to contribute. Dwayne Bacon, Miles Bridges, and Monk all played more minutes than Nicolas Batum on Friday. The bench has been really good to start the season and the Hornets will need another good outing from the second unit if they want to win this game.
Will Borrego continue to use his young players if Batum and Marvin Williams continue to struggle? Can Kemba continue to carry this team with his ability to score in all facets? We will see how it plays out this afternoon in Detroit.