When: 7:00 pm EST
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Tonight’s game will (probably) see the return of two key players from injury. Marvin Williams, who has been out the last five games with knee soreness, is listed as probable for tonight’s game. With PJ Washington sidelined with a broken finger, Williams is a good bet to start at the four tonight.
The Kings are expected to get their star point guard back tonight. De’Aaron Fox has been sidelined since November 8th with an ankle injury. The Kings have done well to hold serve during his absence, going 8-8 and winning four of their last five games. They should only get better with him back in the lineup. The third year guard is averaging 18.2 points and 7.0 assists per game. He has a resepectable outside shot and might be the fastest player in the league with the ball in his hands. He might have minutes restriction tonight, but the Hornets will have their hands full whenever he’s on the court.
The Kings have also been boosted by the return of second year forward/center Marvin Bagley III. Bagley broke his thumb in the season opener (seems to be a lot of hand issues in the NBA this season), and only returned last week. He’s still shaking off the rust, but a game against the Hornets might be just what the doctor ordered. Bagley fits the archetype of big that have given the Hornets problems this season. He’s long and bouncy, and he’s been a menace on the offensive glass in his limited time this season.
Elsewhere, the Kings are spearheaded by a trio of sharpshooting wings and forwards. Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Harrison Barnes combine to average 52.7 points while canning 7.9 triples per game. Nemanja Bjelica plays a smaller role, but he’s just as deadly from behind the arc. Richaun Holmes has quietly turned into a handful as a high energy, rim running big man.
The Hornets will again be without Nicolas Batum and PJ Washington. They’ll need stronger play from their back court to overcome their absences. In the last two games, Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham have combined to average just 21 points while connecting on 26.5% of their shots from the field and 19.4% from three. They have to be better.