When: 7:00 p.m. EDT
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Charlotte Hornets last game against the Cleveland Cavaliers showed just how unsteady the team has been to begin this new season. Having lost three of the last five games, they were able to round back to .500 with a statement win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. So far, this homestand has been proven to be successful as they’ve only lost one of those three games played in the Spectrum Center. As for the last team on this stint, it’s southeastern divisional opponent, Atlanta Hawks.
To no one’s surprise, the youngsters on this Hawks team have been the focal point on offense. New head coach Lloyd Pierce has instilled that the team’s developmental assets will be getting a hefty amount of playing time this season. So far, he’s lived up to that promise.
The team’s biggest and most appealing target to watch out for tonight is point guard Trae Young. Young has put on a show since his arrival in Atlanta, translating the same skills that made him so lethal in college into the pros. Between rising up and shooting from way behind the three-point line to being an excellent facilitator for his team, Young should be getting the majority of touches tonight.
Besides Young, there are other notable young pieces who could heat up quickly if the Hornets don’t guard them well. Kevin Huerter, Omari Spellman, and Taurean Prince are just a few of the names who can provide instant offense when given the right looks. Anyone of these three could go off for a big performance, and that seems to be the case for the Hornets against these less-talented teams. Players who often don’t carry their team’s regular offensive load have had a tendency to produce in bunches against Charlotte. Chicago’s Cameron Payne, and Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr. are just some of those names who fall under this category.
The good news for Hornets fans is that they should find the bottom of the net at an efficient rate. Besides the more established players in John Collins, Tauren Prince, and Kent Bazemore, there aren’t any other real impact players for the Hawks on the defensive end. If I were to choose one of those inefficient defenders to go after, it would have to be rookie Trae Young. He still hasn’t shown any signs of defensive improvement, and as a result, should be a weakness that the team looks to go to often. Expect more scoring from all nine rotation players tonight.
In all, expect to see a high-scoring affair between these two division rivals. Both teams have a fast-pace, outside-shooting approach that can lead to shots coming at a rapid rate. Even though their records may not peak interest, it’s certainly going to be an entertaining game for those who love shootouts.