What: Charlotte Hornets (33-36) vs Los Angeles Clippers (46-23)
When: 7:00 pm EST
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Hornets take on the Los Angeles Clippers in the final home game of their regular season as the season starts to wrap up around the league. The Hornets are coming off back-to-back losses and have cemented themselves a spot in the East play-in tournament.
The Hornets will again be without Miles Bridges (Health and Safety Protocol), Cody Martin (Ankle Sprain), and Gordon Hayward (Foot Sprain) all three players have already been ruled out of tonight’s game. Caleb Martin (Thumb Dislocation) was a late addition to the injury report he has been listed as questionable.
The Clippers will have a relatively clean bill of health, Serge Ibaka (Back) and Amir Coffey (Health and Safety Protocol) are the only players on their injury report as of now going into tonight’s game.
Albeit the season is coming to a close don’t think Los Angeles has nothing to play for coming into this game. The Clippers are still vying for favorable seeding with the playoffs around the corner, LA sits just a game ahead of the Denver Nuggets, and two games behind the Phoenix Suns in the West standings. Even if they don’t make any improvements in the standings look for them to try and build momentum going into the post season.
The Hornets are currently tied with the Indiana Pacers for the 8th seed in the East standings. As far as seeding goes for the play-in tournament, the favorable seed is the 8th over the 9th seed, who has to beat the 10th seed and whoever loses between the 7th & 8th seed to decide the last seed in the east playoffs.
The Hornets have to continue playing good basketball as they try to establish some type of rhythm going into the play-in tournament. Charlotte flashed some good play against the Nuggets last game that we had become accustomed to earlier in the season with the team whole.
The ball was moving on offense and leading to good shot selections, albeit the shots weren’t falling. It was good to see some good habits the Hornets had worked to establish early, start to reappear as they prepare for the play-in tournament.
Keys To Success
Charlotte ended the game with 30 assist and gave themselves a chance to win the game against a contending team with the presumptive MVP. That has been the formula for good offense all season for the Hornets, if they want to give themselves the best chance to pull out the upset tonight, they’ll have to continue the up-tempo ball movement.
The Clippers have an array of talent on their roster led by all-stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George there’s not many teams that are going to match that talent level, so it leaves very small margins for mistakes in this one. Playing a clean game and keeping the turnovers low is going to be pivotal in this matchup.
The Hornets in almost every game we’ve seen have had streaks of bad play at some point. They have to find a way to establish consistency when the shot-making goes dry and the intensity of the game rises.
Against the Clippers who have been prone to falling asleep on their opponents early in games, Charlotte has to keep their intensity high and out work the Clippers at every opportunity.
Walking away with good habits going into the postseason is what the Charlotte Hornets should be building on over the overall results.