What: Charlotte Hornets vs. Boston Celtics
Where: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: 7:30 p.m. EDT
How to watch: NBATV
The Charlotte Hornets play a basketball game tonight. A real, organized basketball game with referees and scoreboards and all the other things you normally see in basketball games. It doesn’t count in the standings, but it counts in our hearts.
This will be our first chance to see what a James Borrego-led Hornets team looks like. With Steve Clifford and Dwight Howard out of the pictures, we’re expected to see many fewer post ups with a much greater emphasis placed on transition offense and outside shooting. The team has apparently been practicing with a 12 second shot clock, so this Hornets team should be entertaining at the very least.
Borrego has also iterated on multiple occasions that he plans to use different lineups than the ones we saw trotted out like clockwork last season, but according to Rick Bonnell, the game notes have the Hornets starting lineup of yesteryear has the starting group for tonight’s game.
FWIW (as in VERY MUCH subject to change). starters listed in the game notes as @hornets starters Friday: Kemba Walker, Nic Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) September 27, 2018
As Bonnell notes in the Tweet, that lineup is very much subject to change. It may even change before tip off tonight. Who knows? It’s the preseason. Nothing matters anyway. But given that both Borrego and Nicolas Batum have stated that Nic will be playing small forward this season, it’s almost certain that starting lineup is very temporary.
Tonight also marks the Hornets debuts of rookies Miles Bridges and Devonte Graham as well as future Hall of Famer Tony Parker. With the starters likely only logging about a half’s worth of minutes, we should get to see the young guys plenty.
The Celtics might be the best team in the East, so the Hornets kick off their preseason campaign with a solid test. But keep in mind this is the preseason. It doesn’t count. Take everything you see tonight with a grain of salt.
Update: It appears the starting lineup has been changed. Jeremy Lamb will get the start instead of MKG, bumping Batum up to the 3 spot.