Charlotte Hornets: Game preview and things to watch against Nuggets

Charlotte Hornets PJ Washington. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets PJ Washington. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

As Charlotte Hornets ride a three-game losing streak, the team is seeking to get back to playing better basketball.

The Charlotte Hornets (21-40) continue their current homestand after taking a devastating loss at home on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Hornets will take on the Denver Nuggets (41-20) for the final time this season.

In this second matchup, the Hornets will look to improve from their first game. While on the road in the first game against the Nuggets, the Hornets lost 100-86.

In the first game, the Hornets allowed a variety of players to score 12+ points. Ultimately, the Hornets would lose that game due to their poor field goal percentage of 41%. The Hornets allowed the Nuggets to finish the game shooting 48% from the floor.

Heading into Thursday, the Hornets’ recent game was a 104-103 loss at home to the San Antonio Spurs, while the Nuggets’ previous game resulted in a 116-100 loss at home to the Golden State Warriors.

Charlotte Hornets vs. Denver Nuggets
7:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, March 5th, 2020
Spectrum Center
Fox Sports Southeast


Injury Report:


Devonte’ Graham – Ankle (Questionable)


Noah Vonleh – Ankle (Questionable)

Things to watch:

If things go well, Devonte’ Graham could be back for Thursday’s game against the Nuggets. Graham has only missed two games this season, and the Hornets are now 0-2 when he does not play.

Both Martin brothers saw a significant amount of playing time on Tuesday, so they should continue to see 27+ minutes of court time Fans should also expect Cody Martin to start for a second consecutive game if Graham is unable to play.

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The Nuggets will not have a lot of injuries heading into this one, as their team remains relatively healthy. The only play expected to be out is Noah Vonleh, but he’s seen very little playing time this season.

Denver will be coming into this game with a little vengeance following their embarrassing loss at home to the Golden State Warriors. The Nuggets are a good team, so this will not be an easy one for the Hornets.

Keys to the game:

The Hornets played alright in the first matchup against Denver, but the team must make sure that they’re knocking down high-percentage shots. Poor shooting hurt the Hornets in the first game, and the Nuggets are a team that will take advantage of any missed shots.

While Charlotte must make their shots, they must also force the Nuggets to take contested shots. The Nuggets are currently the 7th ranked team in field goal percentage with 47% per game, and the Hornets must avoid giving them easy looks.

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If the Hornets want to make a run for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, then this is the game to win. Following this game, the Hornets will close their homestand with one last game at home on Saturday against the Houston Rockets.