Who: Charlotte Hornets (26-26) at Indiana Pacers (28-24)
When: Wednesday, February 10th, 2015, 7:00 EST
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Hornets will look to close out their pre all-star break portion of their schedule strong on Wednesday night in Indiana. Charlotte has played well lately, winning seven of their last ten games. This is in large part thanks to their starting small forward, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who has played well since coming back from injury. Before his return, coach Clifford told the media Kidd-Gilchrist was exactly what his team was missing. MKG has proved him correct, as the team has flourished since his return.
The Hornets concluded their four game homestand on Monday night with a 108-91 clobbering of the Chicago Bulls. Even though the Bulls were missing three starters, it was still a big win for the Hornets, who now find themselves just a half game out of the playoffs.
The game tonight will tell us a lot about the team. They have an opportunity to head into the all-star break with a winning record and to be winners of five of their last six games. However, poor play in Indianapolis would help to confirm the belief that the Hornets are a very inconsistent road team. Motivation shouldn’t be an issue for the Hornets, as the Pacers currently sit in sixth place in the eastern conference, three spots ahead of the Hornets.
PG: Kemba Walker (20.4 PPG, 5.1 APG) Vs. George Hill (13.0 PPG, 3.3 APG)
SG: Nic Batum (15.0 PPG, 5.6 APG) Vs. Monta Ellis (14.0 PPG, 4.9 APG )
SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (13.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG) Vs. Paul George (23.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG)
PF: Marvin Williams (10.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG) Vs. Myles Turner (9.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG)
C: Cody Zeller (8.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG) Vs. Ian Mahinmi (8.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG)
Meet The Pacers
As you probably can imagine, the Pacers were very excited to get their star Paul George back from such a gruesome injury. It’s safe to say he’s back. George, who averages over 23 points per contest, has always been one of the better two-way players in the NBA. This year is no exception, as he has his Pacers team in a good position to make the postseason. As Hornets fans know, the east has been tough this year. With that being said, the fact that Indiana is only two and a half games out of third place is very impressive.
What To Watch For
MKG: This is the first time the Hornets have seen Paul George in over a year and a half. He will be a tough cover for Kidd-Gilchrist, but MKG should be up for the challenge. As it is most times the Hornets play star players, MKG’s perimeter defence will be crucial to his team's’ success.
Road Woes: The Hornets have 19 wins in the Queen City, but only seven on the road, one of the largest home/away win differentials in the league. If Charlotte wants to make up ground in the standings, finding out ways to be more consistent on the road is a good start.
Nic Batum: The frenchman has been nothing short of spectacular after healing from his toe strain. He continues to prove that he’s on of the best all-around players the Hornets have ever had. If he continues to stuff the stat sheet and is smart with the ball, the Hornets should come out on top.
This one's a toss up. If it were a home game for Charlotte, I would give them the advantage. However, the inconsistent play thus far on the road leads me to believe the Pacers will be too much for them to handle. It will be close, but the Hornets will lose 95-91 in Indiana.
Tonight’s game can be seen live on FSSE at 7:00 PM. On the radio side, the game will be available on 610AM, WFNZ, beginning at 6:45 PM.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe