When: 7:00 PM EST
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, N.C.
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Outfitting: Hornets — City (granite); Lakers — Icon (yellow)
CHA: Kelly Oubre Jr. (hand sprain), OUT; Cody Martin (knee surgery), OUT; Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle sprain), QUESTIONABLE.
LAL: Anthony Davis (foot), OUT; LeBron James (ankle soreness), PROBABLE; Lonnie Walker IV (tailbone contusion), QUESTIONABLE.
The Charlotte Hornets host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers after the 38-year-old dropped a season-high 47 points on his birthday last Friday.
The Lakers beat Atlanta, 130-121 behind an explosive scoring night and near-triple-double from James, who added 10 rebounds and nine assists to his total and shot 18-27 from the field, 4-6 from deep and 7-9 from the stripe. The Hornets beat Los Angeles on Dec. 23 to hand them their third-straight loss, but they’ve somewhat righted the ship since then, winning two of the last three. Tonight’s matchup rounds out a five-game road trip for the Lakers.
On the season, the Lakers rank 17th in offense and 20th in defense, resulting in an alarming 24th overall net rating. Both Anthony Davis and James have missed time, but it’s a testament to how poorly the roster is constructed around them that the team is well below .500 while two top-10 players in the league have appeared in a majority of the games. The only Lakers rotation players who shoot above league-average from distance (approx. 36 percent) are Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV, who combine for 3.4 threes made per game.
Another day on Mark Williams Watch. The rook recorded eight points and seven rebounds on 3-7 shooting in the loss to Brooklyn in what was really the first subpar performance of his career. A healthy Nick Richards was out of the rotation until garbage time, signifying that the backup center spot could be Williams’ to lose, at least for now.
Dennis Smith Jr. seems to be inching towards his return, per feature article published today by the Charlotte Observer’s Rod Boone. Smith is “anxious” to play alongside LaMelo Ball and has been listed as questionable for quite some time now, so it should only be a matter of time.
#Hornets Insider: Catching up with Dennis Smith Jr. How he's working his way back from injury, eventually teaming up with LaMelo and more.— Rod Boone (@rodboone) January 2, 2023
"I think people have got to understand, there’s nobody on this earth that wants me to play more than I do."https://t.co/coroarjfhb
Charlotte looks to get back in the win column tonight. Why not sweep the season series with the Lakers? That’d be fun.
P.S. All-Star voting has began. Of course Melo missed time, but that doesn’t mean Hornets fans can’t stuff the ballot box for him!