When: 7:00 pm EST
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Both teams currently sit at 3-3, but they took different routes to get there. The Hornets are overachieving, winning all three of their games against subpar competition. But even with their .500 record, they still sport one of the league’s worst point differentials thanks to three blowout losses to Western Conference foes.
The Pacers came into this season with playoff expectations. Victor Oladipo is out for the foreseeable future, but they went out and signed Jeremy Lamb and Malcolm Brogdan to solidify their back court in his absence. Early returns weren’t great, as the Pacers skidded to an 0-3 record out of the gate. They’ve since hit their stride, winning their last three.
Malcolm Brogdon has led the charge in his first season with the Pacers. He leads the team in both points (22.5) and assists (9.7) per game despite being the most boring basketball player in the history of the world. Domatas Sabonis is making good on his recent contract extension, averaging 21.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.
The Hornets are catching a break with Pacers injuries. The Pacers won’t be able to start their favored lineup that includes two de facto centers in Sabonis and Myles Turner. Turner is out with an ankle injury and Sabonis is a game time decision with a bruised calf. If both were available, the Hornets would be liable to give up dozens of offensive rebounds. If neither plays, the Pacers will have to play extended minutes with TJs Leaf and Warren at center, which plays right into the Hornets hands.
The Hornets are looking for their third straight win, which is probably longer than any win streak people would have projected for them coming into this season. The Hornets might be able to steal this one and actually have a record over .500. Wouldn’t that be something?