After a brief hiatus, the Charlotte Hornets take to the court looking to end their six-game losing streak.
It’s been nearly a week since the Charlotte Hornets (15-29) last played a game of basketball, but it certainly feels like it’s been longer than that. So, if you’re a Hornets fan, you’re probably looking forward to their next matchup against the Orlando Magic (20-23).
These two teams haven’t met thus far, and that’s a bit odd given that they’re division rivals, but they will play four times this year, obviously, so get ready to see a lot of blue and black over the next few months. Charlotte has had some success against the Magic over the years, with the Hornets sporting a 13-game winning streak over Orlando, but sadly, that came to an end last season with the Magic winning the previous two meetings.
So, there’s no better time to start a new streak than this one, and hopefully, they can because if not, it would be their 7th straight loss, which would be the longest of the season. With Orlando vying for a playoff spot, they won’t just lie down and let Charlotte beat them, so the Hornets need to be at their best.
Charlotte’s last game was 100- 86 loss to the Denver Nuggets. They are 11th in the Eastern Conference. Orlando’s last outing was a 109-95 defeat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. They are currently 7th in the East. As mentioned before, these teams will meet four times this season.
Charlotte Hornets vs Orlando Magic
5:00 p.m. EST, Monday, January 20th, 2020
Fox Sports Southeast
D.J. Augustin – Knee (Out)
Jonathan Isaac – Knee (Out)
Al-Farouq Aminu – Knee (Out)
Things to watch for:
Although not as dire, Orlando is riding their own losing streak, having lost their last two. That’s even more motivation for them to win this one since they’re currently fighting for playoff positioning. Former Hornets head coach, Steve Clifford, has done an admirable job with the Magic, but injuries have been a bit of an issue this year for them.
Last season, the Hornets never lost more than three games in a row. This season, they’ve lost four or more consecutive games four different times. This team is vastly different than last year’s squad, of course, but it’s still telling about this year’s team so far. Perhaps they can dig themselves out with a win.
Keys to the game:
Orlando sports the third-lowest field goal percentage in the NBA. As many fans know, the Hornets defense isn’t exactly stellar, so hopefully, Orlando sticks to their trends. If not, Charlotte needs to be physical down low and make it tough for the Magic inside and stick to their assignments on the perimeter.
Charlotte will need to make sure they hit their shots, but that might be an issue as Orlando gives up the fewest points per game. Steve Clifford is known for being a defensive-minded coach, so it makes sense for them to be among the leaders in that stat. The Hornets haven’t exactly been consistent on offense this season, but they’re back at home after a long time on the road, so maybe that will provide a spark on offense. Take good looks and try and run an efficient offense.
Losing streaks are never fun, and the Hornets are certainly not feeling very joyous right now. A win over a division rival would help ease that. Can they take down their former coach and get back on track? We’ll find out Monday night in the Hive.