The Charlotte Hornets were stunned in a comeback win by the Clippers, and they enter the second game of their back-to-back series in LA against the Lakers.
Can they beat the short-handed Lakers? Catch this game live on November 9, at 11:30 AM, Manila time.
Away: Charlotte Hornets (5-6, 3-4 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LaMelo Ball
- SG: Terry Rozier
- SF: Gordon Hayward
- PF: Miles Bridges
- C: Mason Plumlee
The Charlotte Hornets started the season well, but have found themselves floundering. They’ve lost four games in a row, and their last three defeats were blowouts, including their most recent one against the Clippers where they had a fourth quarter lead but were outscored 31-19 in the fourth quarter. They also got wrecked 140-110 by the Sacramento Kings, and 114-92 by the Golden State Warriors.
The now face the prospect of an ignominious 0-4 sweep at the hands of the California teams, and they quite simply have seemed outmatched so far. Miles Bridges, who started the season hot, has been on-and-off on offense. In the last four losses, he’s scored 13, 32, 10 and 29 points.
LaMelo Ball has been more consistent, only failing to score at least 21 points once in his last five games, but they’re having a bit of a tough time succeeding even when he has a good game.
Gordon Hayward is averaging 17.8 PPG over the season, but he didn’t shoot well against the Clippers, hitting 35.7% of his shots on the way to 15 points and 7 rebounds.
This upcoming game is also the second game of a back-to-back, and their fourth game in eight days, so it will be a real test of endurance even for one of the league’s youngest teams.
The Hornets are 3-7 straight-up in the second-game of their last 10 back-to-backs. They’re 5-5 ATS and 5-5 on the over under in that span.
Home: LA Lakers (5-5, 4-3 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Avery Bradley
- SF: Kent Bazemore
- PF: Anthony Davis (day-to-day with finger injury, played 7 minutes previous game with stomach illness)
- C: DeAndre Jordan
The Lakers heard the jeers from NBA fans when they assembled the league’s oldest roster, and the injury bug has already reared its ugly head ten games into the season. LeBron James remains out with an abdominal strain, Anthony Davis has a finger problem and also left their last game after seven minutes with a stomach illness, and prized youngster Talen Horton-Tucker is still out. That’s on top of Kendrick Nunn and Trevor Ariza, who are also out for a while.
That leaves Russell Westbrook as the lone healthy member of the Lakers’ big three, and you really don’t know what you’re going to get from him. Sometimes he can be the triple-double machine and impact player that he’s been his whole career, and some nights, like in their last loss against Portland, he can give you a triple-single while shooting 7.7% (1 of 13) from the field.
The Lakers are built to win with Davis and James at the forefront, and they haven’t been on the court often so far this season. It’s probably wise for the Lakers to be resting them as much as possible with a view to a deep playoff run, but last year’s playoffs showed how disastrous a single long-term injury to either player can be, as ailments to both James and Davis forced the Lakers into the play-ins before bowing out in the first round after Davis hurt his groin.
Carmelo Anthony has shown that he can still score in bunches from time to time, but the question is whether he’ll be able to be the primary scoring option, and he might be relied on to do just that with so many players out for the Lakers. He may need to summon some old-school Melo magic to help them.
The Lakers have also shown this season that they’re capable of blowing big leagues against young teams, as evidenced by their two losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder. They blew a 26-point lead to them in October, then a 19-point lead to them last week.
The Lakers are 6-4 straight-up in their last 10 games as home favorites, 1-9 ATS, and 5-5 on the over-under.
Spread: The Lakers already showed that they are capable of blowing a big lead, and their atrocious ATS record in their last 10 games as home favorites is telling. I like Charlotte at +3.
Over/Under: I think this is going to end up being one of those ugly games for both teams, and I like the Under 225.