Charlotte Hornets eye season series split with Portland Trail Blazers

Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Charlotte Hornets snapped their losing streak with a big road win. They now return home to face the Portland Trail Blazers, hoping for another victory.

Things were looking pretty bad for the Charlotte Hornets (29-33) just a few days ago. Losers of their last three at home, fans were beginning to lose hope that the team would even make the playoffs.

After a tough road win over the Brooklyn Nets, however, there is a bit of renewed optimism in the Queen City… for now.

I say for now because their next match-up is quite the doozy. They return home to take on a Portland Trail Blazers (38-24)  that has beaten the Hornets four straight times and seven out of their last nine.

Charlotte’s last game was a 123-112 win over the Brooklyn Nets. They are tied for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. Portland’s last contest was a 117-119 loss to the Toronto Raptors. They are 4th in the Western Conference. This is the final game in which these two teams will meet.

Charlotte Hornets vs Portland Trail Blazers
1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, March 3rd, 2019
Spectrum Center
Fox Sports Southeast

Stream: Fubo.tv

Injury Report:

CHA:

None

POR:

Evan Turner – Knee (Questionable)

Things to watch for:

Ah, the good old Sunday afternoon game. Those are always fun.

An interesting stat to take note of is Charlotte’s record after road wins. The Hornets only have nine road wins on the season and are 3-5 after the previous eight. Here’s hoping they can improve upon that with this game.

In their loss in Portland, the Hornets allowed the Blazers to shoot 56% from the field. Their defense over the past few weeks has been suspect, to say the least. We’ll see how they fare in the rematch on their home court.

Keys to the game:

I know it’s easier said than done, but they have to find a way to stop the two-headed beast that is Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The two All-Stars combined for 50 points in the loss in Portland. If both of them get hot as they did in that game, it could be over with fairly quickly.

Something else to consider is Portland’s proficiency on the offensive glass. They rank 6th in the league in that category, so the Hornets would be well suited by boxing out on the Blazers’ missed shots in order to limit second-chance points.

Charlotte would also be benefited by getting open looks from three, as Portland only allows 11 made threes per game, good enough for 8th in the NBA. Set quality screens and try to draw double-teams in the interior to allow perimeter shooters to get open.

Jeremy Lamb has Sixth Man of the Year upside. light. Related Story

Their last game against the Trail Blazers got ugly pretty fast. Will the familiar confines of the Spectrum Center prove to be a deciding factor for the Hornets? We’ll find out Sunday afternoon in what could be a fun one.