Who: Charlotte Hornets (1-3) at Dallas Mavericks (2-2)
When: Thursday, November 5th, 2015, 8:30 EST.
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX.
The Hornets kick off their first three game road trip of the year tonight in Dallas. The Mavs are coming off a 101-92 loss in Toronto on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Hornets celebrated their first win two nights ago by clobbering a talented Chicago Bulls team. Historically, Dallas is always a tough place to play for the Hornets. The last time a Charlotte basketball team won in Dallas was 1998. The Hornets will have an opportunity to change that tonight.
PG: Kemba Walker Vs. Deron Williams
SG: P.J. Hairston Vs. Wesley Matthews
SF: Nic Batum Vs. Chandler Parson
PF: Marvin Williams Vs. Dirk Nowitzki
C: Al Jefferson Vs. Zaza Pachulia
Meet The Mavericks
The Mavs were in the news this offseason as much as any team in the NBA. Dallas thought they had their final piece to the puzzle in DeAndre Jordan. In fact, they were pretty certain they did after he signed the offer sheet. Instead, Jordan backed out of his agreement and re-joined the Clippers. Even though the Mavs “lost” Jordan, they still managed to have a somewhat successful offseason. Their most notable acquisitions were Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews. It is easy to see why the organization was so frustrated by the loss of Jordan, as his presence could have turned them into a championship contender. Instead, they had to settle for average centers such as Zaza Pachulia and Samuel Dalembert.
What To Watch For
Pachulia’s Defense: In past seasons, Pachulia has been a tough matchup for Al Jefferson, and it is easy to see why. His big frame and superb defensive skills present issues for Jefferson. With that being said, the Hornets might have to rely on other players to fill in for Big Al’s usual points.
Deron Williams: Few players hurt the Hornets more than Deron Williams. This is a tough matchup for Kemba Walker, and Walker’s ability to contain WIlliams will be key.
Jeremy Lamb: One of the bright spots to start the year for Charlotte has been the play of Jeremy Lamb. After signing a $21million contract earlier this week, Lamb performed very well against the Bulls. I can certainly see Lamb becoming the first man off the bench in the near future.
Defensive Rotation: If the Hornets rotate on defense as well as they did on Tuesday, a win is certainly a possibility. They can’t rely on shooting lights out every night, so consistent defense will be critical to their success.
The Hornets seemed to put all the pieces together on Tuesday night. Look for them to build off that tonight in Dallas. I expect them to get the win, 104-98.
Tonight’s game can be seen live on FSSE at 8:30. On the radio side, the game will be available on 610AM, WFNZ, beginning at 8:15.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe