The Charlotte Hornets will be in town to take on the Atlanta Hawks. The last time these two teams faced, the Hornets took the win, 108-94. The Hawks have improved since that last matchup, while the Hornets have stayed mostly the same leading up to the game. The Hawks did lose to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night, after having an outstanding first half. Toronto came back early in the third quarter and never looked back from there. The Hornets lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, with a 30-point performance from Kemba Walker.
Containing the All-Star
Walker was announced as a starter for the All-Star game, and will be playing for Team Giannis. Walker is a high scoring guard who can get hot at any time in a game. There are not many other threats on the Hornets besides him, so keying on him will be a priority. Coach Lloyd Pierce will probably decide to put Kevin Huerter or Taurean Prince on Walker to put pressure on him. Trae Young didn’t do bad on Walker in the first matchup, so Pierce may decide to just keep the guard on him. Either way, the Hawks will have a tall task on their hand with the All-Star guard.
Getting the front court involved
The Hornets have a weak front court, so it’s important that the Hawks can get John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon involved early. Marvin Williams isn’t big enough to guard Collins, so he should be able to take advantage of that matchup. Bismack Biyombo is known as a defensive center with not much of an offensive game, so this could be a tough matchup for Dedmon. If he can keep Biyombo out on the perimeter to guard him, he could open up things for himself and other players to get into the paint.
The Hawks have been improving each game, and have beaten some middle of the pack teams lately. After being inserted into the starting lineup, Prince has been playing great for the Hawks. Young and Collins have been consistent all season, so they should have big games as well. The Hornets shouldn’t be much of a threat to them, so there’s a good chance they can come out with the victory.
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