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Preview: The Hornets looks to snap their seven-game skid tonight against the Atlanta Hawks

The season has gotten away from the Hornets. It’s time to focus on the development of Charlotte’s young big men.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

What: Charlotte Hornets (15-34) versus Atlanta Hawks (29-28)

When: 7:00 PM EST

Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC

How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBATV

The Charlotte Hornets are mired in a seven-game losing streak and are now tied for dead last in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks, meanwhile, have somewhat righted the ship as of late by winning 10 of their last 16 games.

Atlanta’s starting five consists of point guard Trae Young who averages about 27 points and 10 assists per game but is only making around 33% of his 3-pointers. Shooting guard Dejounte Murray is having a strong season averaging 20 points and over six assists per game. Forward De’Andre Hunter averages over 15 points and hits around 36% of his 3s. Power forward John Collins is a 13-point, seven-rebound guy but he’s only hitting 25% of his 3-point attempts. Center Clint Capella scores an opportunistic 12 points per game and leads the team with over 11 rebounds.

Atlanta’s bench has three strong contributors. Shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic averages a versatile 15 points with three rebounds and three assists per game but has been struggling with his shot lately. Forward Saddiq Bey, whom the Hawks added at the trade deadline and may or may not suit up for this one, should provide additional scoring on the second unit after he averaged nearly 15 points per game as a starter with the Pistons. Center Onyeka Okongwu averages over nine points and seven rebounds per game while shooting over 64% from the field.

Atlanta has a strong eight-man rotation and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them play better in the second half of the season than they have up to this point.

The focus for the Hornets after trading away center Mason Plumlee (who was having a secretly awesome season in Charlotte) is to get more meaningful reps for the team’s young big men. Mark Williams has showed a lot of promise during his rookie season. Third-year big man Nick Richards has taken a noticeable step forward this year. Second-year project Kai Jones has bounced between the Hornets and the Greensboro Swarm in the G-League, and the skinny pogo stick may or may not turn into something. Now is the time to find out.

Charlotte’s season is less about winning and losing at this point - unfortunately - and more about player development. We’ll see if the Hornets array of young bigs are up to the test against proven vets like John Collins and Clint Capela.