When: 10:30 p.m. EST
How to watch: NBATV, WatchESPN
The Hornets and Warriors face off tonight in the opening round of the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League tournament. Charlotte enters as the 13th seed while the Warriors are the 20th.
Charlotte kicked off Vegas with two close wins against the Thunder and Heat, but lost by 20 to the Celtics in their final game. The loss cost them a higher seed, but seeding may not matter as much as who does and doesn’t play for the Hornets and their opponents.
The coaching staff indicated that the lineups may change after the preliminary round ends. If James Borrego and the staff feel they’ve seen enough from their on-roster players, we may see more of the guys trying to get a training camp invite.
That will be the case with Golden State, who will be without Jordan Bell and Damion Jones. Both are part of the Warriors full roster but are out injured.
Golden State’s leading scorers so far have been Marcus Derrickson and Kendrick Nunn, who are averaging 12.3 and 11.7 points per game, respectively. Surprisingly, neither have been offered a two-way contract, with one instead going to Steph Curry’s brother-in-law Damion Lee, who was not on the Warrior’s summer league team but played 15 games with the Atlanta Hawks last season.
Charlotte’s leaders include Willy Hernangomez (18.3 points, 11.7 rebounds per game), Dwayne Bacon (14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds per game) and Miles Bridges (13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds per game). Devonte Graham leads the team in assists at 6.0 per game.
It’s a solid group who have performed well overall in three games. Hopefully the coaching staff continues to give them minutes, as most of us would love to see this team make a run at the Summer League title, even if it’s a bit meaningless.
No word as of now whether Malik Monk will play again in Vegas. His thumb is sprained, not fractured, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept him out of any remaining games.
Win or lose, Charlotte will play another summer league game since every team is guaranteed two more. If they win, they will take on either the 5th seeded Denver Nuggets or the 29th seeded Toronto Raptors.
Hopefully the Hornets give us a good showing for those of us who plan to stay up. If there’s one thing I’d love, it would be to prevent the Warriors from winning another title.