When: 7 p.m. EST
Where: Quicken Loans Arena; Cleveland, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Charlotte Hornets are coming off of an impressive road win against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday afternoon. A 113-103 victory improved their record to 7-6 and it was the first road win since October 20th against the Miami Heat. Now, the Hornets look to build a winning streak against the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers. If you’ve seen their injury report and their performance so far, this is one of those “take care of business” type of games.
Cleveland will be without George Hill, Cedi Osman, Kyle Korver, and Kevin Love for this game. Love is going to be out an extended period of time due to foot surgery. Even with the importance of these players, it has been a tough season for the Cavaliers so far. Their only win of the season came against another struggling team: the Atlanta Hawks. The Cavs and Hornets have already played once this season and it was a 126-94 win for Charlotte at home on November 3rd.
The Hornets will be without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for this game due to a sprained ankle that he suffered on Sunday in Detroit. Expect Dwayne Bacon and Miles Bridges to see their minutes increase over the next few games. Bacon was impressive against the Philadelphia 76ers last Friday and Bridges continues to show his freakish athleticism. Tony Parker has been a pleasant surprise in the early going. He scored 24 points off the bench against the Pistons and hit a few clutch shots to make sure they wouldn’t get back in the game.
The Cavs will be without most of their core for this game. Because of this, Collin Sexton will be expected to take on a bigger role for the time being. He’ll have the help of Rodney Hood, Tristan Thompson, and J.R. Smith among others. The rookie point guard has been up and down to start his career. However, he scored 20 points in the Cavs last game: a one point loss to the Chicago Bulls.
The other names are synonymous with the greatest run in franchise history where the Cavs reached four straight NBA Finals and won the 2016 championship led by LeBron James, who is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. However, times are now very different in Cleveland as they search for a new identity. They used to dominate the Hornets when LeBron was with them.
Now, the Hornets are the favorites and they must take care of business. If Charlotte wants to be a playoff team, they have to beat struggling teams that will likely be in the lottery. These Cavaliers are likely headed in that direction this season. James Borrego’s team has to be ready to compete for 48 minutes on the road once again. We’ll see if the Hornets can make it two wins in a row in Cleveland.