After this week’s injury pinch, which altered the available personnel, the Charlotte Hornets are concerned about their offense.
The Hornets’ arrival on Friday night, when the Orlando Magic, who are visiting, come to town, might be just what they need.
The defense is a major problem for the Magic, who have allowed more than 120 points in each of their last three defeats. That includes Milwaukee’s 139-117 defeat on Wednesday night.
Additionally, an apparently agitated group.
The Magic will be wrapping up a three-game road trip while the Hornets finish a four-game homestand.
With the Hornets’ 105-91 home loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, their season-high five-game winning streak came to an end.
It was LaMelo Ball’s first game since suffering an ankle fracture that ended the season. However, Ball had been out for some time earlier in the season, so playing without him is a challenge but not unheard of.
Kelly Oubre Jr. was reinstated in the lineup of starters.
P.J. Washington, the Hornets’ starting forward, has also been out with a foot injury for nearly a week, but Clifford said he should be back soon.
Dennis Smith Jr., a guard, got a lot of playing time when Ball was out earlier in the season. He will probably get a bigger role again.
In order for Charlotte to have a positive season finale, that will put an emphasis on areas other than scoring.
The continued development of rookie center Mark Williams is one of the Hornets’ positive developments. He is the first rookie in franchise history to record three consecutive double-doubles (points and rebounds) since Emeka Okafor in the spring of 2005.
Paolo Banchero, Orlando’s rookie forward and Williams’ former Duke teammate, is adjusting to life on the other bench.
For nearly a month, the Magic have won and lost on a regular basis. This win-loss rotation has been in place for ten games, beginning with Orlando’s victory over Charlotte on Feb. 5 (119-113).
On October 28, the Hornets lost to Orlando 113-93, but on November 14, they won 112-105 to exact revenge. Despite Ball’s 33 points, the Magic prevailed in the game on February 5.