It took until mid-March, but there is finally a moment where fans can say “we’ve officially hit rock bottom”. The Hornets suffered a, 124-101, demolition at Madison Square Garden to the struggling New York Knicks on Saturday night. The first quarter seemed okay, but it all went south from there. Charlotte was dominated in the third quarter, 42-17. From there, the game was over.
At this point, the Hornets are sunk. They’ve lost six of their last eight games even though Dwight Howard had three 30-point games in that stretch. Overall, the playoff chances for the Hornets are minuscule to say the least. It only gets tougher as their road trip continues against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Charlotte is now seven games behind Miami with 12 games to play. At 30-40, they are staring at a second straight losing season after making the playoffs in 2016. They’ve lost two of their first three games on this current road trip. Going to Philly could make it worse as they’re a really good team at home. They are still feeding off the positive vibes from the Philadelphia Eagles winning their first Super Bowl.
The Hornets will have to run the Sixers off the 3-point line. Specifically, J.J. Redick and Robert Covington have been lighting it up from long distance. Michael Kidd-Glichrist and Jeremy Lamb will be tasked to keep them off the board. Nicolas Batum has tendinitis in his Achilles and that will cause him to miss this game. Expect more Jeremy Lamb, Treveon Graham and Malik Monk at shooting guard for this game.
One matchup that will be intriguing is the center battle between Dwight Howard and Joel Embiid. In each of the first two games, Howard and Embiid have had physical battles. While Dwight got the best of Embiid statistically in the last game, the Sixers were able to manage as Ben Simmons and company got to the rim at will.
The Charlotte Hornets have to be sound defensively and that would mean holding one of the best offenses in the league to under 100 points. That will be a tough task because the Hornets have allowed at least 100 points in 14 straight games. In addition to that, they gave up 128 to the Sixers in their last matchup. Overall, this will be a tough task for the Hornets considering the direction they’re going in. We’ll see if Charlotte can right the ship in Philadelphia.