What: Charlotte Hornets (26-54) vs Houston Rockets (20-60)
When: 7:00pm EDT
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Outfitting: Hornets–City (black); Rockets–Association (white)
Jae’Sean Tate–Out (knee)
What better way to spend a Friday night than watching the 27th best team in the NBA hosting the 29th best team? The Hornets are quite literally limping down the stretch and just trying to make it to the end of the season before the entire roster gets hurt. The Rockets meanwhile are shockingly healthy for a team that has spent the entire season trying to win games. They’re just bad.
In a bit of good news for the Hornets, Mark Williams has been upgraded to probable, so we’ll get a couple more looks at him to end the season. He’ll have an interesting matchup with Alperen Sengun is a Domantas Sabonis-style center that heavily contrasts with Mark Williams’ more physically imposing playstyle. Williams’ injury has thrown us out of rhythm on the center rotation, but both Kai Jones and Nick Richards will probably get some minutes given the injury situation.
The aforementioned Sengun is kind of the third banana for the Rockets. Jalen Green is the presumed alpha and is leading the team in scoring. He’s a score first, score second guard that has a ton of talent but is still learning how to be efficient at the NBA level. Kevin Porter Jr. is the team’s de facto point guard but he probably overlaps with Green more than you’d like. Rookies Jabari Smith and Tari Eason add even more intrigue to the roster.
This is probably one of the only times the Rockets have been favored all season, especially on the road. They’re one game ahead of the Spurs for the second spot in the lottery, so they’d probably prefer to lose this game. The Hornets have no incentive either way, but they’re barely able to field a basketball team at this point. That should make for some interesting play.