What: Charlotte Hornets (2-4) vs Washington Wizards (1-5)
When: 7:00pm Eastern
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast (fingers crossed for three in a row!), NBA League Pass
Outfitting: Hornets–Association (white), Wizards–Statement (navy)
Game lines: Hornets -3.5, O/U 241.5
Hornets: Terry Rozier-out (groin), Cody Martin-out (knee), James Bouknight-out (knee), Frank Ntilikina-out (leg)
Wizards: None (must be nice)
First things first, the Hornets should be very disappointed that they’re only favored by 2.5 to 3.5 points, depending on where you look. The Wizards are trying to be bad this year. The Hornets are not. Some of that is a Hornets tax, because no one bets on the Hornets, but still not a good look.
For the actual basketball, the Wizards are just as bad as everyone predicted. They have the worst defense and second worst net rating in the league, right on par with the absurdly young San Antonio Spurs. It’s the Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole, again, like we all expected. The two are attempting 19.3 and 15.7 shots per game respectively, and no one else averages double digit shot attempts per game. Both are talented scorers and have been able to buoy a mediocre offense. They have plus shooters Corey Kispert and Landry Shamet to help space the floor, and fourth year pro Deni Avdija has been an improved shooter this year as well.
There’s enough firepower there to get hot and steal a few wins, even if on the whole the Wizards are an entirely unserious team. Jordan Poole in particular seems to have embraced the lack of expectations and has already gone viral multiple times this season for nonsense. He threw an off-the-backboard alley-oop to Kyle Kuzma with the Wizards trailing the Hawks by 21 in the third quarter, and notably dribbled into the most blockable 3-point attempt of all time against the Celtics.
Jordan Poole is legitimately hilarious pic.twitter.com/LwPg1Ve3Gn— Brett Usher (@UsherNBA) October 30, 2023
On the Hornets side, Brandon Miller will presumably get the start again in place of the injured Terry Rozier. The Hornets shouldn’t face much resistance defensively, so you’d like to see the offense get into a rhythm and put a bunch of points on the board. LaMelo Ball finished the game against the Mavericks in scorching hot fashion, and hopefully that continues against a leaky Wizards defense.