Charlotte Hornets

Hornets preview: With Cleveland Cavaliers in town, where is Charlotte in playoff chase?

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James leads the Cavs in scoring (26.0), assists (8.8) and steals (1.3).
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James leads the Cavs in scoring (26.0), assists (8.8) and steals (1.3). AP

7 p.m., Spectrum Center

TV: SportSouth. Radio: WFNZ-AM 610.

Projected Starters

Hornets

Cavs

Pos, Player

PPG

RPG

Pos, Player

PPG

RPG

F, M. Kidd-Gilchrist

9.0

7.2

F, L. James

26.0

8.3

F, M. Williams

11.5

6.4

F, K. Love

19.6

11.0

C, C. Zeller

10.5

6.5

C, T. Thompson

7.9

9.4

G, N. Batum

15.2

6.6

G, J. Smith

8.1

2.5

G, K. Walker

22.7

5.5 apg

G, K. Irving

25.6

5.8 apg

Matchup to Watch

Kemba Walker vs. Kyrie Irving: Two of the NBA’s more dynamic, resourceful and clutch point guards face off.

Observations

▪ LeBron James leads the Cavs in scoring (26.0), assists (8.8) and steals (1.3).

▪ The Cavs go for a four-game season sweep against the Hornets. Included is a 121-109 victory in Charlotte on New Year’s Eve.

Tap-ins

▪ The Hornets need to contain James early – he scored 10 points in the first quarter of that game Dec. 31 and Charlotte never recovered.

▪ The Hornets would lose tiebreakers to two of the three teams ahead of them (Chicago and Detroit) in pursuit of the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, so add one game to any calculation made to what it would take to catch them. The Hornets are 2-1 against eighth-place Miami, with a game left in Charlotte on April 5. The Hornets were 3.5 games behind the Heat before Miami’s game Thursday against Phoenix and 1.5 games behind Chicago and Detroit, who are tied for ninth.

Did you know?

The Hornets were 5-0 in overtime games last season, and are 0-6 this season.

David Scott

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