Vegas couldn’t label anyone a favorite in today’s dust-up between the Charlotte Hornets (11-13, 8-5 home) and the Denver Nuggets (17-7, 8-4 away) as the two rivals opened the game as a pick’em. Tip off time is 7:00 p.m. EST at Spectrum Center.
Fortunately, that’s where we come in. Let’s begin by tearing apart both teams’ offenses. The Hornets are averaging 114.0 points per games on 43.0% shooting from the floor and 36.0% from downtown. Charlotte ranks 14th in field goal percentage and 14th in three-point percentage in the NBA.
Much of the damage has been done this year by Kemba Walker, who is leading the Hornets with 26.0 points per game on 41.0% shooting, and Jeremy Lamb, who is dropping in 15.3 points per game.
Denver, on the other hand, is averaging 110.8 points on 44.0% shooting from the floor and 35.0% from deep. They rank eighth in rebounds and fourth in assists. The Nuggets revolve around leading scorer Jamal Murray, who is averaging 17.9 points per contest.
Are you with us so far? Let’s move onto the other side of the ball and take a closer look at both teams’ defenses. Charlotte is perfectly average on defense. They rank 17th in fewest points allowed at 111.2 points per game, and are limiting opposing teams to 46.0% from the field and 34.0% from beyond the arc. Charlotte forces 15.6 turnovers per game and is 21st in the league in rebounding. Their ho-hum defense is particularly vexing on nights when they aren’t connecting from deep.
Denver, meanwhile, has one of the league’s most stifling defenses. The Nuggets only allow 103.4 points per game, and are holding opposing teams to just 46.0% from the field and 32.0% from deep. Denver forces 15 turnovers per game and is eighth in the league in rebounding.
This is the first time this year these two teams have met, but they’ve both been active lately.
The Hornets are coming off of a 121-104 loss to the Timberwolves in Minnesota in which they were 12 for 33 from deep were out-rebounded 62-47. The Nuggets are fresh off a 124-118 win versus the Magic in Orlando. Jamal Murray led the team with 31 points.
It’s a tough game to pick, but it should be an interesting one to watch. Tip off time just around the corner!