With a four-game winning streak going into Monday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons, the Charlotte Hornets are one of the best teams in the NBA.
With the Pistons being the only Eastern Conference team with a worse record than Charlotte, the Hornets will test the role as favorite for Monday’s game, as only two teams had longer winning streaks going into Sunday.
Despite their four-game losing streak, the Pistons will face the Hornets for a portion of their rare success this season.
The Hornets returned to action after winning their final two games before the All-Star break, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night on the road and the Miami Heat on Saturday night at home, respectively.
The Hornets have benefited from Oubre’s return to action after he suffered a hand injury that sidelined him for nearly two months of the season. Since Mason Plumlee was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, rookie center Mark Williams has continued to rise to prominence.
Williams scored 18 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, both career highs, against the Heat. Since Alonzo Mourning in 1993, no Charlotte rookie had scored at least 15 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a game.
LaMelo Ball, Williams’ point guard, has been working well together.
The Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic have both defeated Detroit by six points in consecutive games.
Marvin Bagley III, who hasn’t played since Jan. 2 because of a hand injury, could give the Pistons a boost of energy on Saturday. In the Toronto game, he scored 21 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds.
In February, the Pistons have only won two games. The first of those was a home victory over the Hornets on February 3 by a score of 118-112. Jaden Ivey scored 24 points, but that was only the second time in his last 14 games that the rookie guard has scored 20 points.
On December 14, Detroit also prevailed against Charlotte, winning 141-134 in overtime. In that game, Bagley only played ten minutes.