When: 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Despite making only four 3-pointers on Wednesday night, the Charlotte Hornets beat the Atlanta Hawks 108-94 for their second straight win. While Kemba Walker was human, a lot of players stepped up and performed at a high level. The Hornets are now over the .500 mark this season. They will look to keep it that way as the Utah Jazz travel to the Queen City for a clash on Friday night.
Kemba Walker continues to lead the way for the Hornets, but he hasn’t shot the ball well over the last four games. In that time, he’s shooting 33.8 percent from the field and 29 percent from three. However, Jeremy Lamb has emerged as a second scoring option that this team has lacked for a long time. He’s averaging 18.2 points per game, shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from downtown in his last 10 games.
The Hornets will need a lot of scoring to beat a team as talented as the Utah Jazz. However, it has been a rough start for Donovan Mitchell and the crew. The Jazz sit at 10-12 and 13th in a tight western conference playoff race. Going into Friday’s matchup in Charlotte, Quin Snyder’s team sits three games out of the eighth seed in the west. So far, they’ve been one of the more disappointing teams in the NBA season. However, with players like Mitchell, Joe Ingles, and Rudy Gobert, I’m sure the Jazz will turn it around.
Along with defeating the Brooklyn Nets 101-91, the Jazz made a big move on Wednesday night. They acquired 37-year-old Kyle Korver from the Cleveland Cavaliers for two future second round picks and shooting guard Alec Burks. Korver will bring a shooting and a veteran presence to the team. He continues to make threes at a nice rate and is one of the all time greats in that aspect of the game.
Hornets shooting guard Malik Monk had to leave Wednesday’s game against the Hawks with a quad injury. If he is unable to go on Friday, look for Dwayne Bacon to get more run in the second unit. He has been solid when James Borrego has given him playing time. However, a player that just returned from injury will be the key to the Hornets success on Friday night.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has to continue to make an impact for this team if they want to beat the Jazz. He has fully embraced the bench role and it has suited him quite nicely. While fans have felt indifferent about him during his tenure in Charlotte, he continues to put forth an excellent effort. MKG will likely get the assignment of guarding Mitchell whenever he is on the floor. He even makes three pointers (yes, you read that correctly) from time to time.
Overall, the Hornets play eight of their next 10 games at home. The Jazz have struggled to start the year and the Hornets need to take care of business in the friendly confines. Getting a game like this would mean a lot to this team. James Borrego must push the right buttons against a very disciplined and well-coached team in the Jazz. We will see if the Hornets can push their winning streak to three games.