The Hornets have lost four of their last six games entering Monday’s matchup against the Warriors, which could lead to a bounce-back performance from the champs.
Here’s everything you need to know about the matchup.
When/Where: Spectrum Center, 4 p.m (NBCSBA)
Hornets projected starting lineup: Marvin Williams, Nicolas Batum,Miles Bridges, Cody Zeller, Kemba Walker
Hornets Stock Report: After pulling them themselves up to .500 last month, the Hornets have lost four of their last six games entering Monday’s matchup against Golden State.
Despite holding the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, Charlotte’s current place in the standing could be tested. Over their last 24 games of the season, the Hornets have the league’s second-toughest schedule.
This season, more than most, the Hornets have relied heavily on guard Kemba Walker, who averages 25.0 points, 5.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds and a usage rate of 30.0 – tenth highest in the league.
Despite Walker’s output, Charlotte is 18th in the league in points per game and 23rd in assists.
With the way the Hornets are playing, Monday’s matchup could be the bounce-back game the Warriors need.
Last Matchup (Dec. 29, 2017): Hornets 110, Warriors 100
Dwight Howard scored 29 points and added 13 rebounds as the Hornets won in their only visit to the Bay Area. Draymond Green had eight points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for Golden State.
Do the Hornets pay Walker this summer?
Walker is in the last year of a 4-year, $44 million deal with Hornets and could be eligible for a five-year super max contract worth $221 million this summer if he makes an All-NBA team. Despite his gaudy numbers, some the decision isn’t so easy, including the Charlotte Observer’s Hornets beat writer Rick Bonnell.
“I don’t think it’s insulting to Walker for anyone, whether it be owner Michael Jordan, general manager Mitch Kupchak or an average season-ticket holder, to wonder how long Walker will continue to play at an All-Star level,” Bonnell wrote recently. “In fact, I think it would be irresponsible of Kupchak not to constantly ask himself those cost-effectiveness questions.”
The story behind Miles Bridges’ all-star homage to Larry Johnson.
During all-star weekend, Hornets’ rookie forward Miles Bridges participated in the dunk contest and paid homage to Hornets’ legend Larry Johnson, donning his legendary gold tooth. In a piece for The Athletic, Roderick Boone detailed how Bridges pulled off the stunt – with the help of Hornets team dentist Dr. Larry Seitlin.
“Seitlin took a mold utilized to make the custom mouthpiece Bridges plays with and had the tooth constructed with that. Three days after it was made and a little more than 24 hours before he was going to unveil his look, Bridges visited Seitlin at his office. They tried it out and Seitlin snapped a few pictures, sending them to Guelli.”