When: 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, N.C.
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
CHA: James Bouknight: out (neck soreness), Gordon Hayward: out (left ankle), Jalen McDaniels: doubtful (left ankle sprain).
SAS: Devontae Cacok: out (G League assignment), Devin Vassell: questionable (left adductor tightness), Lonnie Walker IV: questionable (lower back tightness).
Tonight marks the first matchup between LaMelo Ball and Dejounte Murray since both became first-time NBA All-Stars. Murray averages 20.3 points, 8.4 rebounds (second among NBA guards), 9.4 assists (third in NBA) and 2 steals (tied for second in NBA) per game and has been one of the league’s premier perimeter defenders. The two young franchise point guards seemed to quickly develop chemistry during All-Star weekend.
The Spurs shipped Derrick White to Boston for Romeo Langford, Josh Richardson and a top-four protected 2022 first-round pick at the deadline. Langford has yet to appear in a game due to a groin injury, but could make his debut tonight. Richardson has averaged 3.3 points in four games played. San Antonio is a .500 team since Feb. 10, but they lost a lot of production in White.
Jakob Poeltl has been one of the most underrated players in the league for a minute. Likely a top-10 defensive center in the NBA, Poeltl averages 13.5 points on 62.1 percent shooting, pulling down 9.2 rebounds and blocking 1.8 shots per game. He was a hot commodity at the trade deadline, and on a bargain contract he’ll likely receive the same treatment this offseason and at next year’s deadline.
San Antonio has bombarded the NBA’s transaction wire in the last few days. It started with waiving Tomas Satoransky, who has since signed with Washington. Then, they converted the Two-Way contracts of Cacok and Joe Wieskamp to standard NBA deals and signed DJ Stewart Jr. and Robert Woodard II to the vacated Two-Ways. It’s a full youth movement in the Alamo City.
With Nick Richards removed from the injury report and McDaniels again appearing as doubtful, the Hornets’ depth is slowly coming back. Once Bouknight and McDaniels return, the rotation will only be missing Hayward as the playoffs approach. JT Thor has held his own since entering the rotation full-time in mid-February, but James Borrego needs all of his weapons ready for a late push.
For those of us out there who enjoy placing the occasional wager on the outcome of sporting events, DraftKings Sportsbook’s line for tonight’s contest is Hornets -4 (-110), with an over/under total of 241 points (-110). Hornets moneyline pays out -170 if anyone’s feeling confident.
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