Charlotte Hornets

Hornets play Jeremy Lin’s Nets in Boxing Day special

Happy Holidays, friends! I hope you were able to spend some time with your family and friends and eat some delicious food. And, hopefully, were fortunate enough to receive some Hornets gear.

Today, the Charlotte Hornets (17-13) are up in New York State taking on Jeremy Lin’s Brooklyn Nets (7-22). I’m sure we all have fond memories of Jeremy Lin and all of the things that came with having him on the the team.

The Nets are bad. They seem to lack direction and are more or less treading water until something good rolls their way. Not sure what good things come to those who wait in the NBA, but hey, do you.

Brook Lopez and Lin are the Nets’ top scorers over their last five games, with 22 points per game and 13 points per game, respectively. No Net has played more than 30 minutes per game over that stretch, either. Putting all of that together, it’s no surprise the Nets are 0-5 in their last five games.

That’s usually what happens when you’re 24th in field goal percentage and 28th in defensive efficiency. Yeah, not great.

The Hornets shouldn’t have any trouble coming away with a win tonight. They’re well rested and the better team on paper by a substantial margin.

Most of us will be watching simply to see Kemba Walker take on Jeremy Lin, as Lin’s following found its way into all the nooks and crannies of Hornets fandom and trumpeted Lin as the Hornets’ rightful starting point guard every chance they got. Good times.

Kemba is better, by the way. Lin is good too, but Kemba is better.

Lin recently returned from a nagging leg injury that forced him to miss 18 games. Sean Kilpatrick filled in marvelously in his absence, leading the Nets in scoring on many nights. Bojan Bogdanovic also chipped in nicely in Lin’s absence.

Lopez is still the Nets’ premier piece, averaging 20.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game this season. He’s one of the last of a dying breed — post-up centers who flourish because of their raw size and strength — but even Lopez has added guard skills to his game over the last few seasons. He’s hitting 1.9 3-pointers per game this year.

Cody Zeller will be beaten up in the post, but shouldn’t have much trouble guarding Lopez on the perimeter. He needs to be aware of Lopez’s go-to moves, though, particularly that rip-through Lopez catches overly aggressive centers with a few times each game.

All in all, this is a win. I’m calling it. But you know I’m tuning in for Lin versus Kemba. You should too.

Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

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