Charlotte Hornets

Fearless predictions: Hornets’ bench will be better at home; Howard will be motivated

Five fearless predictions for Friday’s Charlotte Hornets game against the Atlanta Hawks:

1. Marco Belinelli will baffle a Hornets rookie at least once.

Ex-Hornet Belinelli is among the NBA’s best at moving without the ball. Dwayne Bacon and/or Malik Monk will get hung out by at least one screen.

2. Treveon Graham will play a bigger role Friday.

Graham missed much of the preseason with a hamstring injury. He played only 17 minutes against the Pistons, but played well in those minutes. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out, and two rookies playing significant minutes, Graham can provide experience and savvy at small forward off the bench.

3. The second unit plays much better at home

The rule of thumb in the NBA is starters play relatively the same home or road, while reserves are more reliable at home. Frank Kaminsky and Malik Monk were a combined 1-of-11 from 3-point range in Detroit. That has to change.

4. Dwight Howard looks to embarrass the Hawks

The Hawks traded him out of his hometown after a single season. Just makes sense Howard has extra motivation in this one.

5. Hornets even record at 1-1

Hornets 97, Hawks 90

Hawks at Hornets

Where:

Spectrum Center, Charlotte

When:

Friday, 7 p.m.

TV/Radio:

Fox Sports Southeast/WFNZ 610-AM

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