When: 5:00 p.m. EDT
Where: Cox Pavilion; Las Vegas, NV
How to watch: NBATV, ESPN3
The Hornets are coming off an utterly terrible imitation of a basketball team they put forth on Monday night. Without NBA guys Miles Bridges, Dwyane Bacon, or Devonte’ Graham the team struggled to generate consistent offense and looked lost for most of the night. Those players probably aren’t coming back this summer, so the new guys have to figure it out.
Tonight’s opponent is dealing with its own struggles. After winning their first game of the summer in convincing fashion, the Bulls managed to score just 75 and 72 points in their subsequent games, including a 37 point drubbing at the hands of the Pelicans on Monday night.
Rookie Coby White has played well for them despite his struggles shooting the ball. He’s knocked down only two of his 19 3-point attempts thus far but has still managed to average 19 points and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 39.6% from the field.
The Bulls other rookie, Daniel Gafford, has cooled off a bit after an explosive debut. He notched a double double against the Lakers with 21 points and 10 boards but has averaged just seven points and eight rebounds in the two games since.
There are two players to keep a close eye tonight, each for totally different reasons. 2018 NBA Draft selection Arnoldas Kulboka has shown a deft shooting touch in his two games this season. You can see him starting to gain confidence as he continues to make shots, and he even made a couple shots off the dribble against China. It’d be nice to see him build off that showing.
The other is Cody Martin. The 36th overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft has had a brutal Summer League so far, particularly on the offensive side of the floor. He’s averaging nine points per game, but a big chunk of those points came during a single barrage in which he made three 3-pointers late in the Hornets loss to the Spurs. Outside the fourth quarter of that game, Martin has connected on just five of his 18 shot attempts. He’s also committed 13 turnovers across his three games played, and several have been extremely unflattering.
The Hornets need to bring more physicality and effort into this game than they did on Monday night. They were bullied by Team China and didn’t turn up the intensity until the game was just about out of reach. If they can do that, at least this game has the potential to be entertaining if nothing else.
After this, the Hornets will play one more consolation game before departing from Las Vegas. Date and time to be determined.