What: Detroit Pistons (28-30) vs. Charlotte Hornets (26-33)
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
When: 1:00 p.m EST
How to watch: Fox Sports South, NBA League Pass (which is free this weekend!)
The Charlotte Hornets will be back in the Spectrum Center Sunday, as the Detroit Pistons visit Charlotte for an afternoon tip-off. The two teams are entering the game in near opposite form. The Hornets have won three straight, including a beat down of the Wizards in the nation’s capital Friday night. Detroit have lost four of the last five, and they seem to have hit a wall recently.
Kemba Walker, who’s averaging 23 points a game, hasn’t missed a step since rumors of a potential move away from Charlotte circulated around the deadline. Even with slim playoff hopes, he has managed to drag the Hornets into the fringes of the playoff race. Dwight Howard, who’s averaging 15.7 points and 12.7 rebounds a night, has showed some of his vintage magic, and the duo seem to be at the forefront of a late season push. Frank Kaminsky is coming off of a 23 point performance against Washington himself and could be a major factor on both ends.
The Pistons, meanwhile, seem to be in a tailspin. After they acquired Blake Griffin from the Clippers earlier this month they instantly rolled off five wins and looked like legitimate challengers for the seventh or eighth seed in the east. Griffin’s play has fallen off in recent games, though, and the rest of the team has struggled alongside him. They have managed to play there way back out of the playoff seeding, and with only a quarter of the season left they can not afford any more skids if they hope to swipe a spot.
This will be the third meeting between the teams this season, and the first in Charlotte. They split the first two meetings in Detroit earlier this season. Charlotte enters the game 10th in the east, 4.5 games behind the Miami Heat for the final seed in the eastern conference playoffs. The Pistons are slotted into the ninth spot, 2 games behind Miami.
Sunday’s game will be the first of a two game home stand for Charlotte, as the Bulls will visit Tuesday, before they head back out on the road for a three game road trip on Wednesday when they face the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.