Charlotte Hornets hit the road to face the Cleveland Cavaliers

Charlotte Hornets Terry Rozier. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Terry Rozier. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets look to start the new year off right with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Well, it’s a new year and a new decade. Perhaps this could prove to be a much-needed fresh start for the Charlotte Hornets (13-23), who are riding a six-game losing streak. That is their longest of the year and it could be seven as they go on the road to face the Cleveland Cavaliers (10-23).

This is the same Cavaliers team that defeated the Hornets back on December 18th in Cleveland. That one came down to the line, with the Cavs winning by just two points. The Hornets tried to make a fourth-quarter surge but ultimately couldn’t pull it off.

So, Charlotte is definitely looking to avenge that loss and it would be a nice win as that loss was the first of their current losing streak. It will be tough, though, given the Hornets’ struggles on the road. Charlotte’s meager six wins away from home are among the lowest in the conference as well as the entire league. It’s not the worst, of course, but it could use some improvement.

Charlotte’s last outing was a 109-92 loss to the Boston Celtics at home. They are once again at the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland’s last game was a 117-97 loss to the Toronto Raptors. They are 13th in the East. This is the second of three matchups against Cleveland this season.

 Charlotte Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers
7:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, January 2nd, 2019
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Fox Sports Southeast


Injury Report:




Dylan Windler – Leg (Questionable)

Things to watch for:

If the Hornets lose this one, it will be the 16th time they’ve lost the season series to the Cavs over their entire existence. That maybe doesn’t sound that bad, but remember there were a few years the team wasn’t around. It could be much worse. Of course, a lot of that is LeBron James‘ doing, but it’s not a good look.

Much has been made about Charlotte’s interior defense and that was a problem in the last game against Cleveland. Well over half of the Cavs’ scoring came in the paint and Charlotte had little to no answer against their offense. Hopefully, they can muster some semblance of defense around the basket this time.

Keys to the game:

Although they lost to the Cavs in the last game, Cleveland is at or near the bottom of the league in just about every category. They’re decent on the offensive glass, though, ranking 12th in the NBA in offensive rebounds. Charlotte is surprisingly ahead of them, ranking 6th in that category. Charlotte’s main issue is on the defensive glass, ranking next to last in that statistic.

That proved to be their demise in the last game against the Cavs as Cleveland dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Hornets by 19. Charlotte needs to be more physical down low and box out effectively.

Cavs’ opponents shoot the second-highest field goal percentage in the NBA. Of course, they somehow managed to hold Charlotte to just 41% from the field earlier in the season. That’s been the norm over the year for the Hornets, but they can get hot at times. Taking quality shots and getting to the basket should be of importance.

Next. First test of 2020 is a tough January set. dark

Things have been bad as of late for the Hornets, but perhaps 2020 could make for a turnaround. Here’s hoping they can leave Cleveland with a win.