Charlotte Hornets hope to bounce back against the Washington Wizards

Charlotte Hornets Nicolas Batum. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Nicolas Batum. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets fell out of playoff contention with a loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Can they climb back up the ranks with a win over the Washington Wizards?

There are losses, and then there are losses that are so deflating, it almost hurts a man’s soul. The Charlotte Hornets (29-35) experienced such a loss Wednesday night against the Miami Heat. With a chance to cement themselves further into the playoff mix, they actually fell out of the playoff picture, behind the Heat and the Orlando Magic.

It was also infuriating due to the largely hostile crowd in the Spectrum Center. It’s no secret that frequently, the Hornets, despite being at home, will have fans of the opposing team outnumber actual Hornets fans. Against Miami, that was no exception, even to the point where fans were booing when All-Star guard, Kemba Walker, was taking free-throws. Personally, that really bothers me, but I digress.

Still, with 18 games left in the season, all is not lost for Charlotte, but it is going to be tough. With a team like the Washington Wizards (27-37) coming to town, however, this could just be what the Hornets need before going on a four-game road stand that will see them take on two of the better teams in the NBA.

As mentioned before, Charlotte’s last game was an 84-91 loss to the Miami Heat. They are 10th in the Eastern Conference. Washington’s previous outing was a 132-123 win over the Dallas Mavericks. They right behind the Hornets at the 11th spot in the East. This is the third of four games in which these two teams will meet.

Charlotte Hornets vs Washington Wizards
7:00 p.m. EST, Friday, March 8th, 2019
Spectrum Center
Fox Sports Southeast

Injury Report:


Bismack Biyombo – Knee (Game-Time Decision)


Devin Robinson – Hip (Game-Time Decision)

Dwight Howard – Back (Out)

John Wall – Achilles (Out)

Things to watch for:

This is the first of yet another back-to-back for the Hornets. It’ll be interesting to see if they rest any players as the next game is an immediate away game. In two games against the Wizards this year, Kemba Walker is averaging 37 points a game. It’s obviously a small sample size, but one hopes that he continues dominating Washington.

Keys to the game:

It’s easy took at a team like the Wizards and just assume they’re mediocre all around, but they do shine in a few areas. One such area is their shooting efficiency. Washington ranks 8th in the league in field goal percentage, making 47% of their shots.

In their loss to the Wizards back on December 29th, the Hornets allowed Washington to shoot 52% from the floor. They only lost by four points, but a loss is still a loss, and the Wizards’ hot shooting helped fuel them to a win. Charlotte needs to clamp down on defense and avoid letting shooters get open.

While they are a good shooting team, the Wizards are not great at defending from the field, ranking 28th in the NBA in both opponent field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage, allowing teams to shoot 48% and 37% respectively. If the Hornets can get open looks, make the extra pass, and utilize screen and rolls, they’ll have success in this game.

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I know many fans are feeling hopeless about Charlotte’s chances to make the playoffs, but they’re technically still in the running. If they can just put together a nice string of wins, they’ll be back on track to make the postseason. We’ll see if they can right the ship against the Wizards Friday night in Charlotte.