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Preview: Hornets open the regular season against the Spurs

Hornets basketball is back, baby!

NBA: Preseason-Charlotte Hornets at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

What: Charlotte Hornets (0-0) at San Antonio Spurs (0-0)

When: 8:00pm EDT

Where: AT&T Center; San Antonio, TX

How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Outfitting: Hornets-Association, Spurs-Classic

The Hornets are back in action tonight looking to cleanse our palates of the sour offseason that has now come and gone, and they hardly could have asked for a better matchup. They take on a Spurs team that is expected to be in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes and whose own coach has already written off their chances of competing.

LaMelo Ball isn’t quite ready to go yet, which isn’t ideal, but the Hornets should still have the firepower to take down the Spurs. They’ll have the other four starters and then one of Kelly Oubre, Cody Martin, and Jalen McDaniels to slide in and take Ball’s spot in the lineup.

We’ll get our first look at Gordon Hayward in a meaningful basketball game in what feels like forever, and he should be able to use his savvy to take advantage of the Spurs youth. Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre will get plenty of open looks from deep, so look for big games from them as well.

The Spurs starting five looks like this:

  • Tre Jones
  • Devin Vassell
  • Keldon Johnson
  • Jeremy Sochan
  • Jakob Poeltl

It’s an interesting lineup with long term potential, but it’s not going to win many games this season. Keldon Johnson is very good, and he’ll probably be the determinant of how competitive the Spurs are on any given night. The rest of the lineup is long and theoretically strong defensively, but we’ll see how well they hold together systematically given their youth.

The Hornets have a strong chance to start the season 1-0 and get the season off on the right foot.