Charlotte Hornets close out road trip against the Denver Nuggets

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets are on the verge of tying their longest losing streak of the season. Can they avoid that with an upset over the Denver Nuggets?

We’re at the point in the season where games are really starting to matter. With 39 games left, the Charlotte Hornets (15-28) can’t afford to keep losing if they want to keep vying for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, they have one of the most difficult remaining schedules in the league, so losing might be more often than not.

Still, you have to support the team and that’s what our writers will continue to do. Our support continues when the Hornets travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets (27-12). The Nuggets are playing really well this season with a nice balance of offense and defense.

They’ll also be on a decent amount of rest with their last played game being on Sunday. The Hornets haven’t been given much rest on this road trip that included a back-to-back, so they’re definitely ready to get back home and take advantage of having a few extra days off before their next game.

Charlotte’s last game was a 115-112 defeat at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers. As usual, they are 9th in the Eastern Conference. Denver’s last contest was a 114-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. They are tied for 2nd in the West. This is the first of two meetings between these two teams.

Charlotte Hornets at Denver Nuggets
9:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday, January 15th, 2020
Pepsi Center
Fox Sports Southeast


Injury Report:




Jamal Murray – Back (Questionable)

Gary Harris – Groin (Questionable)

Paul Millsap – Knee (Out)

Things to watch for:

Denver has two straight back-to-backs coming up. They have a bit of rest between them but considering three of those games are against bottom-dwelling teams, they may decide to rest some of their players for this one. Then again, there is playoff positioning at stake, so they may decide to play everyone they can. Of course, if this one gets out of hand, they’ll rest the starters early anyway.

It’s been four years since the Hornets outright lost the season series against the Nuggets. They obviously only play twice a year, but that has to be a motivator for Charlotte, on top of ending their losing streak. They would definitely love to return home with a win.

Keys to the game:

Denver is pretty efficient when handling the ball. They rank 4th in the league in assists per game and turn the ball over only 13 times a game, good enough for 6th fewest in the NBA. Charlotte is about in the middle of the road when it comes to opponent turnovers, so if they can force Denver to play sloppy basketball and cough up the ball, then it could lead to converting those turnovers into points.

Speaking of opponents, the Nuggets allow the lowest three-point shooting percentage in the NBA. Depending on the night, Charlotte can drain the three, but other times, they can be ice cold from behind the arc. Setting good screens on the perimeter and making the extra pass to create opportunities for open shooters would be ideal.

Next. The Malik Monk experiment has maxed out. dark

This is a very much-needed win for the Hornets as their playoff dreams slowly fade away. A win over a talented Nuggets team would keep that dream alive. We’ll see if they can return home victorious Wednesday night in the Mile High City.