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Preview: Hornets Face The Mavericks and Superstar Luka Dončić

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Hornets face another tall task defensively.

What: Charlotte Hornets (1-2) at Dallas Mavericks (1-2)

When: 8:30 pm EST

Where: American Airlines Center; Dallas, TX

How to watch: Fox Sports South(east), NBA League Pass

Dallas Heating Up (Meet The Opponent)

The Mavericks have had a pretty similar season to the Hornets early on, like the Hornets the Dallas Mavericks are also coming off a pretty huge win against a Los Angeles Clippers team that is sure to be contending late in the season. The Mavericks have also stumbled out the gate a bit dropping their first two games before defeating the Clippers by an embarrassing 51-points. Dallas is led by their superstar Luka Dončić who has looked every bit as advertised to start the season averaging 27.7 PPG coming into tonight’s game. Slowing him down will almost certainly be the key to the Hornets having a chance in this game. The Dallas Mavericks are coming in ranked 4th in offensive efficiency and the 14th in defensive efficiency.

Keys To The Game

Defensive Intensity

The Hornets have to continue improving on the defensive side of the ball. Last game we saw the Hornets ratchet up the ball pressure and cause some 19 turnovers against the Brooklyn Nets. That’s how you win games cashing in on opportunities from turnovers Charlotte cannot just sit back and allow Luka Dončić to pick them apart all night they have to force him into some costly mistakes. Charlotte has to continue communicating and playing as a team on defense, they should be in good shape in this game if they keep the defense intact.

Clean Up Boards

This is probably the most important key; Charlotte has to be active on the boards, grabbing rebounds. One common denominator so far in Charlotte’s small sample size of games is the rebounding discrepancy, Hornets have been out rebounded in two of their three games this season, both of those games ended in a Hornets loss. As a smaller team, Charlotte is going to have to get everyone committed to helping on the rebounding front this season.

Keep Moving The Ball

The Hornets offense falls into a rut when the ball stops moving, the offense has to keep the ball moving and getting everybody involved. That is something that we’ve seen in the preseason and throughout the season so far is the offense having success when there are multiple scoring options. The hornets notched in an impressive 35 team assist in their win against the Brooklyn Nets, we’ll look to see if that continues but so far the offense has been steadily getting better at keeping everybody engage and involved.