What: Charlotte Hornets (15-40) at Washington Wizards (24-29)
When: 7:00 PM EST
Where: Capital One Arena; Washington, D.C.
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Outfitting: Hornets — City (granite); Wizards — Association (white)
CHA: Cody Martin (knee soreness), OUT; Kelly Oubre Jr. (hand surgery), OUT.
WAS: Bradley Beal (foot), QUESTIONABLE; Kyle Kuzma (ankle), QUESTIONABLE.
In the team’s final game before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, the Charlotte Hornets travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Wizards looking to snap a four-game skid.
This will be the fourth and final Hornets-Wizards matchup of the season, and Charlotte has a chance to even the series tonight. Washington won a pair in November before the Hornets collected a 117-116 victory on Dec. 2 behind 25 points and eight assists from Terry Rozier.
The Wizards enter this one on a three-game slide as they look to make yet another play-in tournament. At 24-29, they’ve been shuffled down to 12th in the Eastern Conference as the Bulls and Raptors have pieced together small win streaks, and they look poised to barely miss out on the playoffs once again. Since trading Rui Hachimura to the Lakers last month, there’s been no trade scuttlebutt regarding the Wizards.
It’s been a while since these two teams met, but little has changed statistically or stylistically for the Wizards since early December. Then, they were 18th in offense and defense; now, they’re 20th in offense and 17th in defense. Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis lead Washington in scoring at 22.4 points per game each.
The Hornets went 1-9 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter of last weekend’s loss to Orlando. Playing their fourth game in six days, it felt like they ran out of gas down the stretch after hanging tough for the first 36 minutes. They’ve had two days off to rest and recover since then, which bodes well for their chances at ending this four-game losing streak.
Backup Center Watch update: Mark Williams played 17 minutes against the Magic while Nick Richards received a DNP-CD after he got 15 minutes to Williams’ one in Detroit. We’ll see how it goes tonight.
With the trade deadline on Thursday afternoon, this could be the last game this roster plays together as currently constructed. Mason Plumlee has been one of the hottest names on the rumor market in the league, and Terry Rozier, Jalen McDaniels and Kelly Oubre Jr. all could have suitors. Things have gone very poorly for the Hornets this season, but all of the players that could potentially be on the move have done good work for Charlotte. It’d make my heart all warm and fuzzy if they (possibly) get sent out of town on a high note.