Five fearless predictions for Friday’s Charlotte Hornets game against the Los Angeles Lakers:
1. The best rookie in this matchup is...
Not lottery picks Lonzo Ball or Malik Monk. It’s Lakers small forward Kyle Kuzma, averaging 17.3 points and shooting 40 percent from 3-point range. Ball is questionable to play with a shoulder sprain.
2. It’s now or never
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Yes, the Hornets have played a brutal schedule, as far as collective strength of opponent. However, they have already used up 20 home games. Winning on the road against lottery teams is essential to any chance of still reaching the playoffs.
3. Copy and paste that Kings game template
The Hornets won’t finish a game with three turnovers on a regular basis, but the precision with which they played in Sacramento is a must for a team of limited shooting.
4. That Lopez problem
Brook Lopez is a center comfortable operating well outside the lane. That is never good news for Dwight Howard’s comfort zone defensively
5. Hornets 110, Lakers 104
The Hornets haven’t won back-to-back road games since early last season.
Hornets at Lakers
10:30 p.m., Friday
Fox Sports Southeast /WFNZ 610-AM