Welcome to Buzz City Beat, a daily roundup of the latest news and stories from around the web about the Charlotte Hornets.
The Greensboro Swarm are set to take on the Erie Bayhawks at 7:00 p.m. In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at where the Charlotte Hornets rank in the week 4 power rankings, Nicolas Batum to start in first game back and USA basketball’s World Cup Qualifier in Greensboro.
Hornets fall in Week 4 power rankings (USAtoday.com)
The good news for the Hornets, who are in a four-game tailspin and face Cleveland (twice), Minnesota, San Antonio and Washington to finish the month? Starting shooting guard Nicolas Batum is on the verge of returning from the elbow injury that has kept him sidelined since early October.
After being ranked 18th last week, Charlotte fell six spots to No 24. They went 0-2 this past week with losses to the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics. They will attempt to rebound this week as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Clippers. Being in the bottom seven of the power rankings isn’t ideal but they could fix it by stringing together a few victories.
The Hornets came in just ahead of the Brooklyn Nets (25) and just behind the Los Angeles Lakers (23). Getting Nicolas Batum back should be a positive for the team and winning games will help them climb the ladder. This is their lowest rankings so far this season.
Nic Batum to start in return game (Twitter/ @JustinThomasNBA)
Per Clifford, the plan is to start Nic Batum Wednesday night. He won’t play his normal minutes but he will start against the Cavs
After missing six weeks and the first 12 games of the season, Steve Clifford is choosing to insert Batum right back into the starting lineup as opposed to bringing him off of the bench. It does seem like he will slowly be eased back into the rotation and will be on a minutes restriction. It will take some time for France international to get back into game shape.
Even though his minutes will be limited, it will be interesting to see how Nicolas’ return impacts a team that been struggling as of late. Jeremy Lamb is expected to return to the bench in a sixth man role which means that Dwayne Bacon could be the odd man out in the rotation. Slowly but surely, the roster is starting to get healthy.
Greensboro to host USA Basketball World Cup Qualifier (WfMyNews2.com)
The USA will open training Nov. 17 in Greensboro, N.C., on Nov. 26 (5 p.m. EST) versus Mexico at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Fieldhouse in Greensboro, home of the Charlotte Hornets NBA G League affiliate Greensboro Swarm.
Former Swarm player, Xavier Munford, made the USA’s 12-man roster and is expected to be an integral part of their qualifying campaign. Of the 12 players called up, none of them could be in the NBA or on a two-way deal. They all had to be in the G-League or a free agent. Another former Greensboro player, Damien Wilkins, is on the committee as an athlete representative.