After blowing out the Toronto Raptors in their first game back from the All-Star break, the Hornets stumbled against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. Kelly Olynyk hit a game-winner in overtime, crushing the hearts of all fans in attendance. After the game, Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier blamed Charlotte’s poor effort for the loss but gave credit to the Pistons for their constant hustle.
Charlotte is now 2-8 in their last ten games and sitting at the ninth seed in the East, with the Atlanta Hawks right on their tail. Up until their misstep against Detroit, it had been Charlotte’s defense leading, as they continue to struggle from behind the arc.
In their last ten games, the Hornets have shot 31.4 percent from behind the three-point line - the third-worst mark in the entire league over that time span. But at the same time, they continue to take the fifth-most threes in the entire league. Rebounding numbers are toward the top of the league, as are their assist numbers, but the shots just aren’t falling.
Meanwhile, the Bucks have been stuck in the mud lately, too. They are coming off a brutal loss to the injury-plagued Brooklyn Nets and are 5-5 in their last ten games. Giannis Antetokounmpo is on a tear, but Milwaukee’s defense has been falteriing. Over their last ten contests, the Bucks are allowing 119.2 points a night - fifth-worst in the NBA.
But regardless of their recent play, Antetokounmpo is still a force to be reckoned with. The reigning Finals MVP is putting together another MVP-caliber season, averaging 29.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists while shooting 54.4 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from deep.
This game marks the fourth and final time Charlotte will face-off against Milwaukee this season. The Hornets are 2-1 so far, most recently winning back-to-back games against the Bucks at home at the start of January.
A win tonight would inch the Hornets closer to the eighth-seeded Nets, but a loss would send them down to the tenth seed behind the Hawks. The contest can be streamed on Bally Sports and/or NBA League Pass.