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Preview: Hornets in prime shape to end losing skid versus Rockets

The teams with the two worst records in the NBA meet in Houston.

Houston Rockets v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

What: Charlotte Hornets (11-34) at Houston Rockets (10-34)

When: 8:00 PM EST

Where: Toyota Center; Houston, Texas

How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Outfitting: Hornets — Association (white); Rockets — Statement (black)

Injury report

CHA: Gordon Hayward (hamstring soreness), DOUBTFUL; Cody Martin (knee soreness), DOUBTFUL; Kelly Oubre Jr. (hand surgery), OUT.

HOU: Kevin Porter Jr. (foot), QUESTIONABLE.

The Charlotte Hornets are slated to face off with the Houston Rockets in what is both an extremely winnable and extremely losable game for either team.

The Hornets come into this one losers of five-straight games and eight of the last nine, so of course a matchup with the worst team in the NBA while they’re on a 10-game skid could serve as a get-right game; it could also be an opportunity to get a leg up on the Rockets in the race for the best lottery odds. Either way, Hornets fans are likely to be pleased with the result. It’s always nice to end a long losing streak, but on the other hand, plenty of fans have resigned themselves to frequent visits to the Tankathon lottery sim page already.

Charlotte and Houston enter tonight tied for last place in offensive rating (109.2). Presumably, the Hornets could stand alone in 29th with a comfortable win over the Rockets. The Hornets have been last in offense for many weeks but over the last 10 games they’re up to 19th (114.2), directly coinciding with LaMelo Ball settling in and piecing together a plethora of 20/10 games. Offense is on the upswing in Buzz City.

Houston has an intriguing collection of young talent and a potential centerpiece in Jalen Green, but it hasn’t resulted in any on-court success so far. Green puts up 21.7 points per game on 40.5 percent shooting from the floor and 32.5 percent from deep and Alperen Şengün has shown tons of flashes as an offensive hub, and they’ve enabled Tari Eason to be a two-way wrecking ball. The lack of a true point guard and any veteran presence absolutely kills their synergy on both ends of the floor, though, and it results in some of the nastiest team basketball these eyes have ever come across. At least the Hornets have injuries to blame for the occasional bad vibes.

It’s a “Battle of the Tanks” tonight, as the kids say. Hornets are in prime shape to end a five-game losing streak.