The Charlotte Hornets suffered a close double-overtime loss against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. Can they get them back at home just two days later?
For the second time this season, the Charlotte Hornets (16-17) will face a team twice in consecutive games. The first time was against the Chicago Bulls; a series they split. They’re hoping for that same result as they face off against the Brooklyn Nets (17-19) for the second time in three days.
The result of that last game left quite the bitter taste in Hornets’ fans mouths, as they lost that game in a double-overtime debacle that really never should have happened. Several times, the Hornets had a victory in their grasp only to let defensive lapses or costly fouls transpire, sealing their second straight loss.
Like the aforementioned series with the Bulls, Charlotte lost to the Nets by a mere two points in the first game of their back-to-back, with the final result of that contest being 134-132. Here’s hoping they repeat the outcome of the second game the way they did against Chicago at home, as the Hornets decimated the Bulls by 29 points.
Charlotte is tied with the Miami Heat for 7th in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are only a half-game behind sitting at the 9th spot in the East. This is the second of four games in which these two teams will face off.
Charlotte Hornets vs Brooklyn Nets
7:00 p.m. EST, Friday, December 28th, 2018
Fox Sports Southeast
Allen Crabbe – Knee (Out)
Treveon Graham – Hamstring (Game-Time Decision)
Dzanan Musa – Shoulder (Out)
Caris LeVert – Foot (Out)
Things to watch for:
It’ll be interesting to see if Spencer Dinwiddie will have a repeat performance of his last game. Charlotte had no answer for the 6’6″ guard as he poured in 37 points, including 7 made threes. In fact, he’s been on a bit of a tear recently, averaging 24.4 points a game over his last ten games. The Hornets will need to find a way to mitigate what he can do.
Keys to the game:
Defend the three. Last game, the Nets shot 47 three-pointers, making 19. That’s 40%, and while that’s not that great percentage-wise, it could have been worse as the Hornets over committed on double teams in the paint, leaving shooters wide open from behind the arc.
Against a team that is 6th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage, you can’t leave them open. Charlotte did a good job of getting to the line last game, shooting 30 shots from the charity stripe. They made 23, good for almost 77%, so that could be a little better.
The Hornets will also need to find a way to deal with zone defenses, as that has plagued them a few times this year. That includes their last game where the Nets went zone to stop Kemba Walker from heating up during the latter part of the game. They struggled with that against the New York Knicks, as well, and that resulted in a loss
Charlotte is 6-10 in close games and 0-4 in overtime games this year. That has to improve if this team truly has playoff aspirations. Wednesday’s game might be a fluke, but the Hornets do have losses to some of the bad teams in the East. Can they right the ship and play like the team we know they can be? We’ll find out Friday night in the Spectrum Center.