When: 6:00 p.m. EDT
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League pass
The Hornets are still on the outside looking in at the postseason with the regular season nearly over. Charlotte will need a lot of wins and help if they want to sneak into the final playoff spot. Head coach James Borrego switched up his rotations in the Hornets most recent game: a 113-106 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Now, the Hornets will look to desperately build on that game as they host the Boston Celtics on Saturday night at Spectrum Center. Led by all-star point guard Kyrie Irving and a talented cast, the Celtics have somewhat underachieved during the regular season. For a team that was widely considered a championship contender in the eastern conference, Boston is currently the fifth seed.
However, there is still the postseason that truly decides the fate of many franchises. The Celtics will be in the playoffs and will likely face the Indiana Pacers in the first round. They might have to play that series without homecourt advantage, but they have time to change that. Meanwhile, the Hornets need a big comeback to have a shot at making it. A game like this could be a potential turning point, but Charlotte has fallen apart over the last few weeks.
Cody Zeller will once again sit out with a sore knee and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is again out with a concussion. Both of these players are tough losses against a team that has high quality wings and bigs. Despite that, the Celtics will be without Aron Baynes, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford due to various injuries.
The schedule doesn’t favor the Hornets at all down the stretch. Charlotte still has to play the Toronto Raptors twice and the Golden State Warriors on the road. If there is any positives, the Hornets do have a home win over the Celtics this season. Although that win was great, Boston won both of its home games against Charlotte this season. The most recent matchup was a 126-94 home win for the Celtics on January 30th.
In the end, a lot of things have to go right for the Hornets if they want a shot at winning this game. With more of the younger Charlotte players getting playing time, it will be interesting to see if the positive response against the Timberwolves continues into this game with the Celtics. The Kyrie Irving vs. Kemba Walker matchup will be a fun one as always, so we’ll see if the Hornets can pull off an upset at home.