Coming off yet another stunning finish over the Toronto Raptors, the Charlotte Hornets head to Motor City to take on the Detroit Pistons.
Well, they did it again. For the second time this year, the Charlotte Hornets (37-42) relied on a Jeremy Lamb buzzer-beater to defeat the mighty Toronto Raptors. They certainly needed it too given the current five-team fight for the last few positions in the Eastern Conference.
Speaking of that race, their next match-up is against one of those five teams fighting for a playoff spot. That team being the Detroit Pistons (39-40). The Hornets have had much success against the Pistons this season, winning all three previous match-ups.
They’ll need to win this one, as well, as this contest has serious playoff implications and Charlotte can ill afford to falter at this point.
Charlotte’s last game was a 113-111 nail-biter over the Toronto Raptors. They are, of course, still at the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference. Detroit’s last outing was a 110-123 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are 2 spots ahead of Charlotte in the 8th spot. This is the final match-up against Detroit.
Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons
4:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, April 7th, 2019
Little Caesars Arena
Fox Sports Southeast
Cody Zeller – Knee (Out)
Marvin Williams – Foot (Out)
Luke Kennard – Foot (Probable)
Blake Griffin – Knee (Probable)
Svi Mykhailiuk – Finger (Out)
Things to watch for:
I’m sure Detroit is fully aware that the Hornets have a shot at sweeping them for the year and with playoff positioning being very much impacted by this one, they’ll definitely want to make sure Charlotte doesn’t leave with a win.
It’ll be interesting to see if Blake Griffin plays. If not, that could benefit the Hornets, but they’ll still have Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson to deal with. Griffin scored 45 points and hit nine three-pointers in their last contest.
Keys to the game:
Detroit is 29th in the league in field goal percentage, shooting just over 44% from the floor. That’s good news for a Hornets team that tends to let teams shoot at high clips, but that doesn’t mean they can play soft on defense.
Speaking of giving up high percentages, we know the Hornets’ defense is lacking at times, but Detroit is right there with them. Both allow teams to shoot 47% from the field, tying them for 6th worst in the NBA. Hopefully, the Hornets can take advantage of Detroit’s poor defense.
This is a very important game for Charlotte and if they want to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, they’ll need to play a complete game. With three games left, there is zero room for error. Here’s hoping they can come away victorious Sunday afternoon.