The Charlotte Hornets will kick off the 2023-24 NBA season Wednesday night when they take on their Southeast Division Rival Atlanta Hawks. This will be the first of four matchups with Atlanta and the only time they face the Hawks prior to the year 2024.
Charlotte is looking to continue their success against their division rival this season. The Hornets took three of four from the Hawks last year, winning both games without LaMelo Ball and splitting the games in which he played. Despite the season series ending in Charlotte’s favor, the scoring average was much closer than anyone would prefer. The Hornets barely outscored the Hawks in their matchups, holding a slight 124.5 to 122.5 advantage in the points per game department. But that was just enough to win three games against Atlanta.
As far as recent results are concerned, Atlanta performed better in the preseason than Charlotte. The Hawks finished their preseason with a 3-2 record, while the Hornets were just 1-3. Atlanta averaged 2.5 points more per game than Charlotte (107.8-105.3). Additionally, the plus/minus metric also favored the Hawks, but neither team finished with a particularly encouraging number in this area (-2.2 Atlanta, -9.0 Charlotte).
Unsurprisingly, three-point shooting was not in Charlotte’s favor in the preseason. The Hawks averaged 12.4 made threes on 33% from deep, while the Hornets made just 8 threes on 23.9%. Charlotte was just one of two NBA teams to average less than 10 converted three-point attempts during the preseason, the only others being international opponents. Not being able to show any sort of improvement when compared to last year’s lack of success. There is also the fact that their conversion rate is far below the majority of the best teams in the league, showing just how far away they are from a competitive standpoint.
The Hornets have a chance to make a statement with a win in their season opener against the Hawks. This could be exactly the momentum Charlotte needs to begin the year on a good note, as their early season schedule is quite favorable.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 P.M. at Spectrum Center in Charlotte.