Tonight the official 2020-21 NBA season starts for the Charlotte Hornets, who open up on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse arena at 7 P.M.
The game can be seen on your local Fox Sports South broadcasting networks and NBA League Pass.
Who is projected to start for both squads?
Hornets projected starters
Devonte’ Graham, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington, Cody Zeller
Cavaliers Projected starters
D.J. Garland, Colin Sexton, Kevin Love, Andre Drummond, Cedi Osman
When will we see Lamelo Ball?
The number 3 overall draft pick is expected to be the first reserve off the bench for the Hornets. You heard it here first, with Lamelo’s playmaking ability and court vision he will make it extremely hard for Coach Borrego to keep him on the pine. Melo’s ability to ignite the transition offense, flashy passes and being a pass-first prototype point guard, he instantly makes the team better with his efficiency on the floor. Being surrounded by ball-hawks on defense in Rozier and Graham, Ball will threaten a triple double nightly if his shooting improves on the perimeter. An aggressive Ball is a rookie of the year candidate. Book it!
What impact will Gordon Hayward have with the young guns of the Hornets?
Gordon Hayward instantly brings shooting ( something the Hornets desperately need outside of Graham) and immediate offense. Capable of shooting from the perimeter and a savvy mid-range, Hayward will keep teams at bay with his impact on the offensive end. Coming off an avulsion fracture of the pinky finger, Hayward is expected to start tonight. The $120 million dollar question for Gordon is can he stay healthy? Durability has been a concern for Gordon throughout his NBA career.
What challenge for the Hornets do the Cavaliers bring?
Colin Sexton is a pit-bull who constantly attacks in transition and in the half-court offense. Andre Drummond will respectively give you 18 & 15 on any given night, so keeping him off the boards will be pivotal. Kevin Love, aka Mr. Double-Double, stretches the floor with his excellent shooting ability from all phases on the court. Matching his toughness with physicality and athleticism can off-set his contributions.
Keys to Victory
Tonight turnovers and points in transition are my keys to victory for the Hornets. Forcing the bigs of the Cav’s to run the floor, as well as forcing them to defend the pick and roll are of most importance. Scouting report of P.J. Washington from the pre-season show teams have left him open “on purpose” not respecting his 3 point shot.