What: Philadelphia 76ers (45-30) vs. Charlotte Hornets (34-43)
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
When: 1:00 p.m. EST
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Hornets are back in action this afternoon, as they face off against the 76ers at home. With less than 24 hours between today’s and yesterday’s games, fatigue could be an issue for the Hornets, who have just five games remaining in their season.
Despite yesterday’s poor second half team display, there were a few positive takeaways. Malik Monk played his best game in some time, finishing with 17 points and three assists. He also knocked down three from behind the arc. He still chucked up a few too many shots, but most of those came late after the game was virtually decided. Monk is clearly still learning, but he looks far more comfortable on the floor than even just a month ago.
At this point in the season, youth development matters, and we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks signs of progress from Monk and others. Players like Dwayne Bacon and Willy Hernangomez have been getting more playing time as the season winds down. It’s looking like this will be the case for the last few games.
Kemba Walker became the Hornets all-time leading scorer in a loss to Cleveland this past Wednesday. Now, the two-time all star is looking to accomplish another milestone: 10,000 career points. However, he only scored seven points against the Wizards on Saturday which makes his chances more difficult. Walker must average 30.4 points per game in his last five games to reach 10,000 for his career.
The 76ers come into Charlotte hot, winning their last nine games. The last time they won 10 straight was the 2000-2001 season, which is also the last time the Sixers were in the NBA Finals. They’ll have to get their 10th straight win without All-Star center Joel Embiid. He’s expected to miss the rest of the regular season after having surgery on his fractured orbital bone following a collision with Markelle Fultz.
The center matchup is going to be important in this game. Dwight Howard and Willy Hernangomez will be going against Amir Johnson and Richaun Holmes. Both of the Sixers bigs are athletic and can shoot from the outside when needed. It will be up to Howard and Hernangomez to hold both in check. It should be a good atmosphere when the Hornets take on the 76ers on Sunday afternoon at Spectrum Center.