Buzz City Beat: Charlotte Hornets @ LA Clippers preview, A closer look at Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard
Welcome to Buzz City Beat, a daily roundup of the best articles from around the internet surrounding the Charlotte Hornets.
The Charlotte Hornets have recalled rookie Dwayne Bacon and point guard Julyan Stone from the Greensboro Swarm as the two players will join the team out west. In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we preview Charlotte’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers while also looking at how well the Hornets’ best players have been and the Greensboro Swarm losing to the Iowa Wolves.
Charlotte @ LA Clippers preview and prediction (RealSport101.com)
This game is anyone’s to win, but the Clippers should prove too strong. Griffin appears to have returned from injury without skipping a beat, and the guard combination of Williams, Teodosic and Rivers is working well for them. Charlotte will be in the game for long stretches, but will be overrun in the end by a Clippers team that will take this out 107-100.
Los Angeles is a much more dangerous team with Blake Griffin back in the starting lineup. Although the Clippers have a losing record of 15-19 on the season, they have won four of their last five. With key players returning from injury for them, they are looking to get back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference.
Dating back to 2010, Charlotte has lost seven straight games to the Clippers in LA. After defeating the defending champions in Oakland, the Hornets’ should have plenty of confidence and momentum heading into this one. Kemba Walker and company will be looking to string together a couple wins for the first time since late-November. If Charlotte can play like they did against the Warriors, they should win this game but based on how inconsistent the team has been this year, there is no guarantee that will happen.
A close look at just how good Kemba and Dwight have been for the Hornets this season (Twitter/ @JoshEberley)
A look at the top players in PER relative to their on/off net rating: pic.twitter.com/cQeip6wPaa
— Josh Eberley (@JoshEberley) December 30, 2017
Looking at where Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard rank among other top players in the NBA shows just how good the two have been for Charlotte so far this season. Kemba has the highest on/off net rating differential in the league while Dwight is doing much better than most would’ve expected. This chart highlights how important Walker has been for this team and just how bad the bench has been when he is off the court.
Jeremy Lamb also made this chart as the third and final Hornets’ player. He is the teal dot just to the right of “Kuzma.” Giannis Antetokounmpo is on an island all by himself in the top right which should further cement his place in the MVP race this year. If Charlotte had a better record this season, I think Kemba would be in the MVP conversation as well.
Bacon and Swarm fall to the Iowa Wolves (Gleague.NBA.com)
The Iowa Wolves (10-9) held the Greensboro Swarm (8-14) to a season-low in points while winning their fifth straight game by the final score of 95-86 on Timberwolves Night at Wells Fargo Arena Saturday.
Bacon led Greensboro in scoring once again as he put up 32 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. In Dwayne’s two games with the Swarm, he managed to average 38.5 points per game, eight rebounds and 5.5 assists. Unfortunately, the Charlotte Hornets’ G-League affiliate couldn’t win a game with Bacon in the lineup and have now lost two straight and five of their last eight in total.