The Hornets come off an atrocious shooting night to face a team they’re fighting with for playoff positioning.
When: 7:00 pm EST
Where: Scotiabank Arena; Toronto, ON
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Hornets are coming off the worst 3-point shooting performance in team history. I thought it was going to be one of the worst in NBA history, but boy howdy are there some bad shooting nights throughout the annals of recent history. The Nuggets had a game in 2012 where they attempted 22 3-point attempts and made exactly zero. The Rockets had a game last season where they took 45 3-point attempts to match the Hornets four makes. The Celtics had a 4-for-42 3-point shooting performance a few weeks ago, and that’s only one of two 3-point shooting performances that the Celtics have had this season that were worse that what the Hornets put out there Sunday night.
But I digress.
The Hornets will try to bounce back against a good but not great Raptors team that’s been all over the place this season. They’ve had two win streaks of five games or more and have not lost more than three in a row all season, yet they sit at exactly .500. They’re .500 at home and .500 on the road. They are mediocre wherever they go. Part of that may have to do with the fact that the Raptors have been playing the last few weeks with no fans at their home games, which is surely extra jarring considering the environments they play in on the road.
The Raptors are led by a cadre of young-ish players that they acquired almost off the scrap heap and turned into very fine players. Former undrafted free agent Fred VanVleet continues to get better and is averaging a team high 21.7 points per game, his sixth straight season improving upon his previous year’s scoring average. Pascal Siakam continues to be effective in the most unorthodox of ways, while the rest of the roster is filled out by bouncy, energetic wings. Rookie Scottie Barnes is making a strong push for rookie of the year with averages of 14.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.
The Raptors play at one of the slowest paces in the league and they don’t turn the ball over much, which limits the Hornets transition opportunities. However, they don’t shoot well, so the Hornets will want to try to push off rebounds as much as possible to get into their transition offense. The Raptors play an iso-heavy style of basketball and don’t shoot the ball well on spot-ups, so the Hornets should be able to contain their offense if they do an okay job staying in front of ball handlers.
The Hornets will be without Jalen McDaniels tonight as he recovers from a sprained ankle he suffered on Sunday. Gordon Hayward is currently listed as questionable with foot discomfort.