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Preview: Charlotte looks to upend Steph Curry and the league’s hottest team

The Hornets know what they need to do - contain Steph Curry. That’s easier said than done.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Golden State Warriors Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

What: Charlotte Hornets (7-7) vs. Golden State Warriors (11-1)

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC

How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

The Hornets are once again finding their footing. After a painful five-game losing streak they have now won two straight games at are sitting on a .500 record. The Warriors, meanwhile, are the hottest team in the league with their gaudy 11-1 record. This one will be fun, folks.

Golden State Warriors Overview

The Warriors begin and end with future Hall of Famer Steph Curry, and he’s currently going bonkers from the 3-point line. Over his last three games he has gone 21-of-45 (46.7%) from downtown. Yes, that’s correct. Steph Curry has averaged 15 3-point attempts per contest over his last three games and he’s hit nearly half of them. He’s the greatest shooter in the history of the game, period. Nobody has ever been better. He’s a joy to watch.

Golden State’s starting five consists of third-year guard Jordan Poole who is having a breakout season averaging 17.5 points per game, but he’s a subpar 3-point shooter at 31.3% on 8.3 attempts per game this year. Wing Andrew Wiggins is a legitimate scoring threat who averages over 17 points per game. Forward Draymond Green (7.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 7.2 APG) is one of the more effective defenders (and overall annoyances) in the NBA. Kevon Looney technically starts at center but he averages just 17 minutes per game and makes a minimal impact.

Key reserves include guard Damion Lee who averaging 11.9 points per game on a blistering 43.6% from the 3-point line. He’s currently listed as day-to-day on the injury report so we’ll need to see if he suits up. Veteran forward Andre Iguodala is nearly AARP eligible yet still plays over 20 minutes per game and his impact transcends his sparse statistics. Golden State has a number of other capable contributors including Otto Porter, Nemanja Bjelica, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Gary Payton II. This is a deep, deep team. They’ll be even more lethal when injured Klay Thompson rejoins the fold.

How the Hornets Can Win

First, I think all of us know Steph Curry grew up in Charlotte and is the son of Hornets former player and current broadcaster Dell Curry. I don’t know how ethical this is, but if Dell could do the Hornets a solid and manufacture some family drama with Steph prior to the game, that could help.

Steph revels playing against his old hometown team. HIs career 26.6 points against the Hornets is fourth highest against any single team, so expect him to bring his A-plus game tonight (he always brings his A game). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to mention the most important thing Charlotte can do is contain Curry to the extent possible. It does, however, take the basketball equivalent of a rocket scientist to figure out how to do that, so good luck Coach Borrego. The one benefit the Hornets have is length on the perimeter so hopefully they can at least get a hand in Steph’s face on a consistent basis.

These two teams played just 11 days ago and the Warriors won in a 22-point blowout, 114-92. Charlotte limited Steph to just 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting in that game but his supporting cast more than did their jobs. Damon Lee and Gary Payton II combined for 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Also in that contest the Hornets were hamstrung by Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre shooting a combined 2-of-16 for five points.

Based on their most recent contest, the keys to a Hornets victory center on containing Steph Curry (again), preventing Lee and Payton from going off, and helping both Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre to find their respective shots.

The Hornets are riding a two-game winning streak and are trying to regain their swagger from their 3-0 start. Nothing would go further in getting that swagger back than taking down the hottest team in the league.

Poll

What’s your prediction for tonight’s game?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Hornets win easy
    (7 votes)
  • 19%
    Hornets win a close one
    (31 votes)
  • 34%
    Warriors win a close one
    (54 votes)
  • 41%
    Warriors win easy
    (66 votes)
158 votes total Vote Now