We’re starting to hit the home stretch and the Charlotte Hornets are picking up some much-needed wins. Sitting four games back of the final playoff spot in the East isn’t ideal, but a win against the Detroit Pistons might edge them just a little closer.
With 23 games left on their schedule, the Charlotte Hornets (26-33) are trying their best to make a push towards a playoff berth. Even though they have a fairly favorable schedule, it’s going to be an uphill battle. It won’t be getting any easier when the new-look Detroit Pistons (28-30) come to town.
The two teams have already played twice this season, with the two games being split. Neither game was very close, with the average margin of a win being 11.5 points. Both of those games, however, took place before the Blake Griffin trade. Since that trade, the Pistons are 5-4. That’s a rather small sample size, but so far, it’s hard to tell how much better or worse they are with their new additions.
Charlotte is coming off a 122-105 blowout of the Washington Wizards. They currently are 10th in the East. Detroit is fresh off a 110-98 loss to the Boston Celtics. They are 9th in the East, 2.5 games ahead of Charlotte.
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Charlotte Hornets vs Detroit Pistons
1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, February 25th, 2018
Broadcast on Fox Sports Southeast
Reggie Jackson – Ankle (Out)
Jon Leuer – Ankle (Out)
Things to keep an eye on:
Normally, Charlotte would only play against Blake Griffin twice in a season, but this will be their third time due to the trade. He’s not putting up spectacular numbers against the Hornets this year, but with a new cast, he could surprise them. Nicolas Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist did not play in the loss to the Pistons way back in October. They played well in the win against them last month. Hopefully, they can continue to contribute.
Keys to the game:
Charlotte commits the 3rd fewest turnovers in the league, with 12.7 a game. Yet, in their two games against Detroit, the Hornets have averaged 16 turnovers. Obviously, that’s not going to win you many games. Minimizing careless passes and avoiding reaching defenders is a must. On another note, Charlotte is averaging 31 free-throws against Detroit this season. Odd considering Detroit commits the 5th fewest fouls in the league. By no coincidence, Charlotte also leads the league in free-throw attempts. Look for them to try and get to the line as much as possible.
There’s always something fun about these early afternoon Sunday games. Winning their 4th straight would make it even more fun. We’ll see if fans leave the Spectrum Center happy after facing off against the Pistons.