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Preview: Hornets open Summer League slate against the Pacers

We’ve got Hornets basketball on your TV.

Charlotte Hornets Introduce Draft Picks Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

What: Charlotte Hornets vs Indiana Pacers

When: 6:00 pm EDT

Where: Thomas & Mack Center; Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: ESPN2

Let’s watch some basketball on the court, shall we?

The Summer League Hornets make their debut against the Summer League Pacers. In case you missed it, you can find the Hornets full summer league roster here. The group will be led by Jordan Surenkamp, head coach of the Greensboro Swarm. We’ll get our first look at a pair of Hornets rookies—Mark Williams and Bryce McGowens. We’ll also get to see the work returning players Kai Jones, JT Thor, Scottie Lewis, and Nick Richards have put in. LiAngelo Ball is back as well.

The Pacers will showcase the sixth pick of the 2022 NBA Draft in Bennedict Mathurin and 31st overall pick Andrew Nembhard, who was a favorite of many on this blog.

Everything we’re going to see this evening is going to be a mystery, so I don’t know how much I can really preview this. Remember, whatever happens in the Summer League is not necessarily predictive of anything, so nobody panic. But here are some things we can watch for:

  • Is Mark Williams the defensive presence he’s supposed to be? I’d like to see him show flashes of being able to move on the perimeter while also making life difficult on the interior for the Pacers. He’ll also get the chance to stretch his offensive game more than he did at Duke. I’d like to see him attempt a 3-pointer at some point just to show that it could be in his bag.
  • What do the Hornets have in Bryce McGowens? McGowens is probably going to take longer to answer any questions, but it’d be nice to see some savvy scoring moments.
  • How much have Kai Jones and JT Thor improved? Both were very raw prospects when they arrived in Charlotte last season. Both look to have put a lot of work into their bodies and built upon their already impressive physical profiles. Let’s see if they’ve added some polish to their respective games as well.
  • Can one of the G Leaguers take the next step? Jalen Crutcher shot nearly 44% from three on high volume last season while also averaging six assists per game for the Swarm last season. LiAngelo Ball showing enough to sneak onto the roster would be a fun story. The Hornets roster is pretty full, but they have a two way spot open for someone that proves themselves.