One of the fastest rising teams in the Eastern Conference, the Charlotte Hornets have a great blend of young talent and proven veterans. They’ll host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night, who have lost 11 of their last 13 games.
With that in mind, the Thunder find a way to stay competitive nearly every night. They won’t go down easy tonight in Charlotte, regardless of the gap in talent.
The Thunder enter the day as 6-point underdogs to the Hornets, and the total over/under is 213.5 points.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
The Hornets play with a ton of pace and attempt the third-most shots of any team in the NBA this season. As such, the Thunder defense will need to keep up if they don’t want to get into a shootout.
This will be especially important on the perimeter, as Charlotte attempts the seventh-most 3-pointers (38.0) of any team and is fourth in the NBA in efficiency, knocking down 37.3% of those shots.
With a balanced scoring attack, the Hornets have five players that average at least 16 points per game. On any given night, they’ve got a handful of players that could explode offensively.
Miles Bridges (20.0) and LaMelo Ball (19.2) lead Charlotte in points per contest this season.
One of the Hornets’ weaknesses is rebounding, where they rank in the bottom third of the league. This is an area that OKC should be able to dominate on Friday night, as the Thunder are top ten in that category this season.
Following one of the worst performances of his season thus far, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will look to bounce back tonight in Charlotte.
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Oklahoma City Thunder (14-30) vs. Charlotte Hornets (25-20)
Friday, January 21, 2022 at 6:00 PM CT
Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Bally Sports Oklahoma, NBA League Pass, 98.1 FM The Sports Animal
Aaron Wiggins is coming off a 19-point performance on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs. This was the first time in the rookie’s career to lead the Thunder in scoring.
A promising young forward, he’ll look to continue that success tonight against a quality Hornets frontcourt.