When: 7:00 pm EDT
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Charlotte Hornets are coming off what might end up being the most fun game they play all season. They poured in 3-pointers and ran roughshod over the Bulls offensively. They played almost no defense, but we’ll worry about that another time. The offense was too fun to look past.
The Hornets will try to keep that going against a Timberwolves team that should be better than the Bulls. The Wolves are coming off a win of their own, on the road against a Brooklyn Nets team that should comfortably make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
The Timberwolves are led by All World center Karl-Anthony Towns. The fifth year pro has averaged at least 21 points and 12 rebounds per game in each of the past three seasons. He looks well on his way to a fourth straight after 36 points and 14 rebounds to go along with three assists, three steals, and three blocks. He also hit seven-of-eleven 3-point tries. Lauri Markkanen torched the Hornets for 35 points and 17 rebounds. It’s scary to think what Towns can do against that kind of interior defense, especially since the Hornets will be without Cody Zeller.
Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins struggled mightily against the Nets, finishing with more shot attempts than points, as he is wont to do. That’s who the Hornets want taking the bulk of the Wolves’ shots, and Wiggins will gladly oblige. Be ready for a lot of mid range jumpers.
The Hornets will struggle to generate the same open looks they got against the Bulls. The Wolves are chock full of strong wing defenders, including arguably the best one in the league in Robert Covington. It’ll be interesting to see how the Hornets adapt offensively with less penetration and stickier defenders.
Tonight’s game will be a homecoming for two former Hornets. Treveon Graham starts on the wing for the Timberwolves and does Treveon Graham things. Noah Vonleh comes off the bench as a backup center and power forward.