What: Charlotte Hornets (1-1) vs Brooklyn Nets (0-2)
When: 7:00pm Eastern
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Outfitting: Hornets–Association (white), Nets–Statement (black) ((but not the regular black ones))
Lines: Hornets +1.5, O/U 228.5
Hornets: Cody Martin-out (knee), James Bouknight-out (knee), Frank Ntilikina-out (leg)
Nets: Nic Claxton-out (ankle), Cam Johnson-out (calf)
The Hornets followed an exciting season opening win over the Hawks with a disheartening loss to a Pistons team that many predict will be one of the worst teams in the league this season. LaMelo Ball has struggled to score efficiently and the bigs were dominated by a physical Pistons team. On the bright side, second overall pick Brandon Miller has been very good–he’s third behind Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren in rookie scoring.
Tonight’s opponent is an interesting one. The Nets have a lot of players that are really good at some things but really bad at others. Ben Simmons is currently playing. He leads the team in rebounds, assists, and blocks, but he’s only averaging seven points on seven shot attempts per game. Meanwhile third year pro Cam Thomas is really good at scoring and not good at really anything else. Though to be fair, he’s been really good at scoring through two games. He scored 36 in the season opener and followed that up with 30 points in game two. He’s not a huge threat from deep, but he’s a midrange maestro. Only six of his 40 field goal attempts have come at the rim, but he’s made them all.
Mikal Bridges is the closest thing the Nets have to an all around star, but he hasn’t quite found the rhythm he had after joining the Nets at the trade deadline last season. His stats through two games more closely resemble last season with the Suns than they do in his superstar turn with the Nets, but that’ll probably correct itself before too long.
The Hornets catch a break with both Johnson and Claxton out. Claxton has given the Hornets problems in the past, and the downgrade to Day’Ron Sharpe is pretty steep. We’ll probably see some Ben Simmons at center as well. Johnson is a blow to the Nets outside shooting, but Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale are fine fill-ins there.
It’d be nice to see the Hornets get some momentum before embarking on a road-heavy couple of weeks. The Nets haven’t gotten a win yet this season despite two competitive games. It’s a good chance for the Hornets to move to 2-1.