What: Charlotte Hornets (30-32) vs Detroit Pistons (19-44)
When: 7:00 pm EDT
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The big news for tonight’s game involves players that haven’t been in the lineup for several weeks.
ESPN Sources: Charlotte guard Malik Monk -- out for a month with an ankle sprain -- is planning to make his return vs. Detroit tonight. LaMelo Ball -- out since March 20 with a fractured wrist -- will test that wrist pre-game before making final determination on playing tonight.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 1, 2021
Ball — a Rookie of the Year candidate — underwent wrist surgery on March 23, and is set to return for the Hornets‘ final 10 games of the season and potential playoff berth as the current eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. https://t.co/Tzq4FBonZK— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 1, 2021
It looks like both Malik Monk and LaMelo Ball will be back in action tonight, though there isn’t official word from the team yet.
Both would provide a huge boost to a Hornets offense that has struggled to find consistency in the absence of some of their more explosive play makers. Getting both back in the lineup could help the Hornets make a late run in the season’s home stretch.
If they do both return, they’ll do so against one of the worst teams in the league. The Pistons are 19-44, 29th out of 30 teams in the league. Not only are they bad, but they are also undermanned. Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Cory Joseph, Dennis Smith Jr, Rodney McGruder, Wayne Ellington, Jahlil Okafor, and Hamidou Diallo are all listed on the injury report, and appear to be out for the game. The Pistons starting lineup will probably look something like this:
Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Saddiq Bey, Sekou Doumbouya, Isaiah Stewart
...with Frank Jackson, Saben Lee, Tyler Cook, and Deividas Syrvidas making up the rest of the Pistons available players.
The Hornets should be able to come out of this game with a win and some good game minutes for their guys coming back from injuries.