Charlotte Hornets vs Indiana Pacers Preview and Predictions -12-15-2019
A pair of Eastern Conference teams take the floor looking for a win in the Hoosier State. The Charlotte Hornets are on the road as they travel to face the Indiana Pacers Sunday afternoon. Charlotte comes in off an 83-73 road win over Chicago on Friday night in their last game. Indiana defeated Atlanta 110-100 on the road in their last game on Friday night. The Pacers lead the all-time regular season series by a 66-45 margin though the Hornets took a 122-120 overtime win at home in the first matchup between the teams this season on November 5.
Charlotte Hornets Seeking Fourth Straight Victory
Charlotte shut down the Bulls on the road to earn a third straight win as they try to make a move in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Hornets entered Saturday third in the Southeast Division, 7.5 games behind Miami. In the playoff picture, Charlotte was ninth in the Eastern Conference, half a game behind Orlando for the final playoff spot. The Hornets led by nine after the opening quarter only to see the Bulls come back to tie the game in the opening minute of the second half. Charlotte regrouped as they went on a 15-4 run to take a 59-48 lead and survived after Chicago got within two midway through the fourth quarter. The Hornets shot 38 percent from the floor, including a dismal six of 31 from three-point range, in the game. Charlotte won the rebounding battle 60-45 and held Chicago to 30 percent from the floor in the contest. Devonte’ Graham led the Hornets with 16 points, five rebounds and seven assists in the win.
The Hornets are a below average team offensively so far this season, ranking 26th in the league with 105.2 points per game. Charlotte is 26th in rebounding with 42.8 boards per game and 17th by dishing out 23.8 assists per contest. The Hornets are below average defensively this season as they are 18th in scoring defense by allowing 111.3 points per game. Terry Rozier is second on Charlotte with 17.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game this season. PJ Washington (12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds), Devonte’ Graham (team leading 19.9 points, 7.6 assists), Cody Zeller (11.3 points, 7.8 rebounds) and Miles Bridges (12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds) are all scoring in double figures. Dwayne Bacon, Malik Monk (8.9 points) and Marvin Williams are solid contributors offensively as well. The Hornets are 25th in field goal percentage as the team shoots 44.1 percent from the floor. Charlotte is 6th in the league with 13 threes per game while ranking tied for 8th in three-point shooting as they hit 36.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Indiana Pacers Look to Earn Home Win
Indiana picked up their second straight win as they took down Atlanta on the road Friday night in their last game. The Pacers entered Saturday second in the Central Division, six games behind the Bucks for the top spot. Indiana holds the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture entering Saturday’s action. The Pacers held a seven-point lead after the opening quarter and led the rest of the way. Indiana’s lead didn’t drop below three over the final three quarters as they held the Hawks at arm’s length. The Pacers shot 50 percent from the floor, including seven of 22 from three-point range, and forced 15 Atlanta turnovers. Malcolm Brogdon scored 19 points, grabbed eight boards and dished 12 assists to lead Indiana.
The Pacers enter this contest 17th in scoring offense with 109.3 points per game on the season. Indiana is 19th in the league in rebounding with 44.3 boards per contest and stand tied for 11th with 24.7 assists per game. The Pacers are 6th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 105 points per game this season. Malcolm Brogdon leads the team with 19.5 points, 4.7 rebounds plus 7.7 assists per game this season. Domantas Sabonis (18 points, 13.5 rebounds), Myles Turner (10.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks), T.J. Warren (18.2 points) and Jeremy Lamb (14.9 points) are all contributing on the offensive end. The Pacers still miss Victor Oladipo, who is on the comeback trail after last season’s knee injury. He has been practicing with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the G League but has no firm timetable for his return. Indiana is 7th in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 47 percent from the field this season. The Pacers are 28th in threes made per game as they have drained 9.7 triples a night while the team stands 8th in three-point shooting by hitting 36.5 percent from beyond the arc.
The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team is largely owned by retired NBA player Michael Jordan, who acquired a controlling interest in the team in 2010. The Hornets play their home games at the Spectrum Center in Uptown Charlotte.
The original Hornets franchise was established in 1988 as an expansion team, owned by George Shinn. In 2002, Shinn’s franchise relocated to New Orleans and became the New Orleans Hornets. In 2004, the NBA established the Charlotte Bobcats, which was regarded as a new expansion team at the time. In 2013, the New Orleans franchise announced it would rebrand itself the New Orleans Pelicans, ultimately returning the Hornets name, records, and official history (spanning from 1988 to 2002) to Charlotte. The Bobcats were officially renamed the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014–15 season.