When: 8:00 p.m. EST
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Hornets were competitive with the Denver Nuggets for most of Saturday night’s contest. However, the top seed in the western conference managed to pull away for a 123-110 win behind a 39 point performance from Nikola Jokic. In the end, it was going to be tough to win in one of the most difficult places to play in the NBA. Charlotte has now dropped back to back games and their west coast road trip continues in Phoenix as they face the Suns this evening.
By now, every Hornets fan knows that the organization drafted Frank Kaminsky over Devin Booker in the 2015 NBA Draft. He is a great young player for Phoenix and continues to score with ease in this league. However, he’s become a much better passer this season - averaging a career high 7.1 assists per game. Add the first overall pick from the last draft, DeAndre Ayton, and a much improved TJ Warren and there is a bright future for Arizona’s professional basketball team.
However today the Suns come into this game with the worst record in the western conference. Despite that, the Hornets luck with lottery teams this season has been beyond nonexistent. Charlotte has already lost to the Hawks, Cavs, Knicks, Bulls, Wizards, Pelicans, Timberwolves, and Mavericks this season. What do all of these teams have in common? They are are all currently at the bottom of their respective conferences. The five East teams I named have the worst records in the conference.
For the Hornets to get back on track they have to take care of business tonight. It will be a tougher game than most people think since it’s the second night of a back to back after playing a game in high altitude the night before. There were a lot of encouraging things in last nights contest that could be helpful for the Hornets in this one.
Of course, Kemba Walker continues to lead the way on the scoring front. Malik Monk has quietly shot 45.4% from the field in his last 13 games. The energy and effort from Bismack Biyombo against the Nuggets was a pleasant surprise. Devonte’ Graham has played well when given the chance by James Borrego. The team has to be focused because the Suns will be aggressive offensively and they can score a lot of points.
Overall, the Hornets have a great chance to bounce back this evening. It won’t be an easy game, but they can make it easy with great shot selection, rebounding, and defense. This team has been inconsistent defensively all season, so the hope is that the Hornets decide to come out hot on both ends. We’ll see if this is a get-right game for Charlotte in Phoenix.