The NBA is set up with a lighter night of action on Thursday night. Six games will be up on the board throughout January 30. One of these matchups will be a game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Washington Wizards. These two teams have struggled so far this season, but will look to earn a nice win on Thursday night. This game will tip off at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Hornets have started off this season with a record of 16-31, which has them sitting in eleventh place of the Eastern Conference. Charlotte is only four and a half games back from the final playoff spot though, which is currently held by the Brooklyn Nets. The Hornets are coming off a win in their last performance and will look to build on it after losing the previous eight games.
Washington has posted a record of 15-31 to this point in the season. The Wizards currently hold the twelfth place spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington is five games back on the Nets, which is still very much within reach. The Wizards have dropped two in a row and six of their last eight. Washington will look to bounce back with a big win at home on Thursday night.
These two teams have posted records a good way behind .500, but still find themselves in the race for a playoff spot. Neither team has looked impressive this season, but if they can put up a strong second half performance to the season, they could make a jump in the standings. I expect both teams to come out strong and try to build up some momentum in this matchup as both teams see it as a winnable game.
The Hornets and the Wizards met up for the first time this season on November 22 in Washington. Miles Bridges put up 31 points, while Devonte’ Graham, Terry Rozier and Malik Monk all had 19 points. It was not enough though. Bradley Beal finished with 30 points and 12 assists. Thomas Bryant put up 21 points and 11 rebounds to help give the Wizards a 125-118 win at home.
The second game of the season series shifted back to Charlotte on December 10. Davis Bertans dropped 32 points off the bench for Washington. Rui Hachimura added another 18 points and 12 rebounds, but it would not be enough. Devonte Graham put up 29 points. The Hornets starting lineup combined for 96 points to help lead Charlotte to a 114-107 win at home to tie up the season series.
Charlotte took the season series 3-1 last season as they finished right outside a playoff spot. Washington finished well out of a playoff position last season. Neither team seems to be on pace to snag a playoff spot this season, but it is not out of the question. Both teams were able to earn a win at home in the first two games of the season series and the Wizards will look to keep this trend up on Thursday night.
Field Goal Shooting
The Hornets have been one of the worst teams this season when it comes to shooting from the field. Charlotte has made around 43.3 percent of their shots from the field, which is third worst in the NBA. The Hornets have made around 35.2 percent of their three point shots this season, while making 48.8 percent of their shots inside the arc.
Despite Washington’s poor start to the season, they have not been terrible shooting. The Wizards have made 46.3 percent of their shots from the field this season. Washington has the eighth best three point shooting percentage with a 36.6 percent. The Wizards have also made 51.7 percent of their shots inside the arc, which is around middle of the league.
The Wizards have been the better shooting team this season, but they have also allowed their opponents make the most shots from the field against them. Charlotte’s defense has not been much better, but they are around middle of the league in three point defense. If the Hornets can clog the lanes against Washington, it could help swing this game in their favor.
Devonte’ Graham has put up a strong start to this season. Graham has averaged around 18.5 points and 7.5 assists per game this season. Terry Rozier is averaging 18 points per game in his first season with the Hornets. P.J. Washington has averaged 12 points per game, while Miles Bridges is averaging 12 points per game. Cody Zeller has helped round out the lineup, averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds per game.
Bradley Beal has helped carry the Wizards this season. Beal is averaging 28.5 points per game. Davis Bertans has averaged 15 points per game off the bench. Thomas Bryant is averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Isaiah Thomas is averaging 12 points per game, while Ish Smith has averaged 11 points per game. Troy Brown is averaging 10.5 points per game as well.
The Hornets have seen a somewhat breakout duo between Graham and Rozier this season, while Beal has carried a big part of the load for Washington. The Wizards are missing Rui Hachimura, Jordan McRae, Moritz Wagner and John Wall, which is hurting their lineup. If Charlotte can slow down Beal, I think they will be able to knock off Washington.
The Wizards are coming into this game on a two game losing streak, but I like their chances to bounce back with a win at home against Charlotte. Washington’s defense has struggled this season, but the Hornets have not been much better. The Wizards offense, however, has been much better than Charlotte. If Washington can jump out to an early lead, I like their chances to hold on for a big win at home.
BetOnline has the Wizards listed as a -3 ½ against the spread. This gives a slight edge to Washington, which makes sense since they are at home in this game. Charlotte has won seven of their last ten games against the Wizards, but I think that this one could go either way. I like the home team in this one and I think that they can cover this spread.