When: 10:00 pm EDT
Where: Golden One Center; Sacramento, Calif.
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
After a red-hot start to the season, the Charlotte Hornets have cooled down a bit and currently sit at 5-4. They have dropped three of their last four games, two of which were double-digit losses. Tonight, they continue their West Coast road trip as they take on the Sacramento Kings. Sactown hasn’t been amazing this year, but it’s looking like they could push for a play-in spot.
Charlotte: LaMelo Ball PROBABLE (hip), PJ Washington DOUBTFUL (below)
Sacramento: No injuries
The story of the season for the Kings has been swingman Harrison Barnes. He’s putting up the type of numbers Dallas expected him to when they signed him to a big deal after his Golden State years. Now the Kings don’t look as foolish for giving him another huge extension recently. As of now, he’s averaging 23.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 49.6 percent from the field and 47.3 percent from deep. He’s been an absolute flamethrower for them this year.
On the flip side, De’Aaron Fox has been dealing with some early-season struggles. He’s still putting up over 19 points and six assists a night, but his shooting splits are rough. Fox is shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 19.0 percent from three-point land. That doesn’t mean he won’t be effective, though. His speed is always liable to kill opposing defenses. Meanwhile, his backcourt-mate Tyrese Haliburton is putting up decent stats on better shooting. He’s playing well, but his stats aren’t anything to gawk at, either.
The guard that Charlotte should really be eyeing is rookie Davion Mitchell. Though his counting stats may not seem impressive, his impact on the defensive side of the floor has been unignorable. So far this season he has held some amazing scorers to very unimpressive numbers. Mitchell held Jordan Clarkson to 2-10 shooting in 8:32 of matchup time over two games and Damian Lillard to 1-7 shooting in 3:52 of matchup time in one game, just to name a couple.
Finally, Richaun Holmes deserves to be mentioned as well. The Charlotte Hornets were rumored to be interested in him this summer, and with the way he’s been playing, fans are going to wish they got him. He’s putting up a near 15-point double-double every night while shooting 68.0 percent from the field. There’s not much more they could ask from him.
As for the Hornets, they are looking to right the ship after a two-game losing streak vs. the Cavaliers and Warriors. The team let things slip away in the second half the other night, as their shooting went cold. Meanwhile, Golden State poured it on from all areas, getting contributions from up and down the roster.
The Kings are great at defending the three-point shot, but they give up tons of points in the paint. Though the Hornets usually dominate from behind the three-point line, attacking the rim will be crucial to a win vs. Sacramento. Miles Bridges has been amazing when driving to the hoop this year, and this game will allow him to do that even more. Sacramento gives up a ton of points, so the Hornets should be able to find a nice rhythm throughout the night.
Both teams like to get out in transition a decent amount (Charlotte more so than Sacramento, but still), so this should be a fun game to watch. Falling to 5-5 on the season would not be ideal for a Hornets team who has garnered a lot of attention to start the year. Staying above that .500 mark should be the goal tonight.