What: Charlotte Hornets (4-5) vs Atlanta Hawks (4-4)
When: 7:00 pm EST
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, N.C.
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Just three days removed from a dismantling, the Charlotte Hornets will again face off against the Atlanta Hawks, this time at the Spectrum Center.
Since Gordon Hayward put 44 points on Atlanta’s heads, the Hawks haven’t played a game, so they’ll be much more rested than the Hornets, who’ve had to travel from Atlanta to New Orleans, play a game, and then travel back to Charlotte since Wednesday night. Presumably, Trae Young will not go for seven points and seven turnovers on 2-for-9 shooting this time around, so we may have a closer contest on our hands and those seem to be a workable situations so far with how well the Hornets have closed out games.
This preview will be fairly brief, since nothing has changed with the Hawks since Wednesday except for their injury report;
Rajon Rondo (left knee soreness), Danilo Gallinari (right ankle sprain) and Onyeka Okongwu (toe) are listed as “out” tonight, while Tony Snell (foot) is questionable and Bruno Fernando (left hip) is probable.
After last night’s game, I’ve officially begun advocating for the small-ball lineup to become the starting/closing lineup. The Hornets are going to be a mediocre rebounding team with bad interior defense regardless of whether it’s Bismack Biyombo or a “small-ball center” in PJ Washington at the five, so why not prep Washington for the role the team envisions him having when he’s fully-developed? Biyombo would likely be more successful on defense against second-string bigs and he seems to have some chemistry with LaMelo Ball, so pairing them together off the bench might work. Like our fearless leader JD said in his article on the “Washington at center” experiment, all that matters is your team outscores its opponent, and that becomes a lot more likely for the Hornets with their small-ball lineup.
Jalen McDaniels got another DNP-CD last night in favor of Caleb and Cody Martin, so we’ll have to keep an eye on the back-end of the rotation and see if/when Borrego makes another adjustment. It was also nice to see Miles Bridges go off last night after a string of lackluster performances; he hit four threes (4-of-6 3PT) against the Pelicans after hitting just one (1-of-11 3PT) in Charlotte’s previous four games.
Cody Zeller (left hand fracture) is the sole name on the Hornets’ injury report.