What: Charlotte Hornets (26-55) at Cleveland Cavaliers (51-30)
When: 1:00pm EDT
Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse; Cleveland, OH
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Outfitting: Hornets–City (black); Cavs–Association (white)
The Hornets haven’t released it as of this writing but I assume it’ll be the same as Friday’s game against the Rockets:
Dennis Smith Jr. probably won’t play because why return from a somewhat extended injury absence just to play a meaningless season finale?
Donovan Mitchell–Out (finger)
Darius Garland–Out (leg)
Caris LeVert–Out (knee)
Isaac Okoro–Out (knee)
Dylan Windler–Out (foot)
Jarrett Allen–“Questionable” (groin)
We watch this game because it’s the last time to watch Hornets basketball for a while. We do not watch this game to see meaningful basketball played at a high level. The Hornets continue to trot out lineups that may have played together for the Swarm this season. The Cavaliers had been trying up until recently, but they have no reason to now. They are locked into the 4 seed in the East and have no reason to push any of their nicked up stars.
That means the Cavaliers are boasting a lineup similar to the Hornets. Jarrett Allen is listed as questionable but almost surely will be downgraded to out as he manages a muscle injury. Evan Mobley isn’t listed on the injury report, but he didn’t play last time out.
So what we’ll get is the likes of Robin Lopez, Cedi Osman, Danny Green, and company against Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Bryce McGowens, Mark Williams, et al. Talk about a barnburner.
It makes it difficult to preview anything meaningful. The Cavs are basically buying time until the playoffs start. The Hornets are seeing if any youngsters pop. We’ve seen some of that in recent games, primarily from Mykhailiuk and Theo Maledon. McGowens, Williams, JT Thor, and James Bouknight have had moments as well. The Hornets will have decisions to make this offseason, so all of those guys will be trying to make a case that they can fill some sort of role when the Hornets are hopefully more competitive.
Once this game ends, we’ll turn our focus to the offseason, which at this rate should be much more intriguing than the on-court product we’ve been subjected to for most of this season.