Five fearless predictions for Friday’s Charlotte Hornets game against the Houston Rockets:
1. MKG will guard James Harden at least part time.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played only 10 1/2 minutes in his first game back from bereavement leave. They will need him defensively against Harden, similarly to how MKG has guarded Russell Westbrook.
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2. Dwight Howard in for a challenging night
Rockets center Clint Capela doesn’t get a lot of hype, but he’s averaging a double-double, plus 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks.
3. Eric Gordon could go off
Chris Paul (left knee injury) won’t play, but Gordon is averaging 24.6 points. Dangerous as Harden is, Gordon can be a bear to guard, too.
4. Clifford will have something devised for his former boss.
Hornets coach Steve Clifford was an assistant on Mike D’Antoni’s staff with the Los Angeles Lakers. They know each other’s tendencies almost too well.
5. Rockets 105, Hornets 98
Rockets have won 12 of the last 13 against the Hornets. Shorthanded as the Hornets are, and on the start of three games in four nights, winning would be a pleasant surprise.
Rockets at Hornets
Friday, 7 p.m.
Fox Sports Southeast /WFNZ 610-AM