With their leader back and fresh off a win against a divisional foe, the Hornets’ spirits are up. Winning two in a row would bring them even higher, but they’ll have one of their toughest games yet against a banged up Warriors club.
A single win does not a season make. Yet, after losing four in a row, a win will certainly cleanse the palate of any foul taste. At this point in the season, though, the Charlotte Hornets (9-13) will need to start stringing together some wins if they want to get out of the basement of the Eastern Conference. They’ve already won the first game of a four-game homestand. The second, however, will not be easy as the Golden State Warriors (19-6) invade the Spectrum Center on Wednesday night.
One little thing that will help is that Charlotte native and All-Everything guard, Stephen Curry will be out for tonight’s game. Now, no one wants to see any player injured, but it does have to be of some relief knowing that one of the Warriors’ main weapons can’t hurt you. The team does still have three other All-Stars, so it’s not going to be that much easier for them.
Charlotte defeated the Orlando Magic in their last game, 104-94. They are 11th in the East. Golden State is coming off a 125-115 win against the New Orleans Pelicans. They are 2nd in the West.
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Charlotte Hornets vs Golden State Warriors
8:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
Broadcast on ESPN
Stephen Curry – Ankle (Out)
Zaza Pachulia – Shoulder (Questionable)
Patrick McGraw – Nose Bruise (Questionable)
Things to keep an eye on:
The Warriors’ point guard situation is a little murky right now. Shaun Livingston should get the start but given that he was suspended for their last game for butting heads with an official, the coaching staff may punish him further. I think he will start, however, especially given McGraw’s status. Look for Nick Young to possibly play the 1 as well. In any case, Kemba Walker should have a distinct advantage here. If they are ever against each other, Draymond Green vs Dwight Howard might get a bit chippy. Hopefully, Dwight can keep his cool.
Keys to the game:
As of now, the Warriors lead the league in a lot of categories. Shocker, right? Here are just a few: Points per game, assists per game, three-point percentage, field goal percentage, and yes, even blocks. Needless to say, the Hornets have their hands full. Still, one area the Hornets have on the Warriors is rebounding, though not by much. The Hornets are second in the league in rebounding at just under 47 a game.
The Warriors are 10th, with 44.8. If the Hornets can play physical and out rebound and outhustle the Warriors, they may have a shot. As evidenced earlier, they’re not going to miss a lot, so grabbing the defensive rebound when they do is imperative. The Hornets will also need to try to get to the free throw line as much as they can. Kemba will need to attack the basket and hopefully get to the line as much as he did last game. The Warriors will most likely outshoot the Hornets from the field, but if the Hornets can make a dent at the charity stripe, that will certainly help.
I’m always of the mind that any team can be beaten on any given day. Can the Hornets pull off the upset? Sure, but they’ll need to play their absolute best and take advantage of Curry’s absence. They lost their first primetime game this year. Here’s hoping they win their second Wednesday in Charlotte.