The New Orleans Pelicans are 11th in the Western Conference standings with a 30-37 record and are vying for a postseason berth. Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets are 8th in the East as a result of their 33-34 record this season.
Fixture: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Charlotte Hornets | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Sunday, May 9th; 7:00 PM ET (Monday, 10th May; 4:30 AM IST)
Venue: Spectrum Center, Charlotte
The New Orleans Pelicans have impressed on the offensive front, averaging 115 points per game (8th in the league). Head Coach Stan Van Gundy is known for his defensive acumen, yet the team have allowed 114.7 points per game, the 6th-worst mark in the league.
The Pelicans are coming off a narrow 107-109 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, making tonight's clash a must-win game for them. They are still in contention for the playoffs, but a loss against the Charlotte Hornets will certainly put their plans in jeopardy.
With Zion Williamson ruled out and Brandon Ingram listed as doubtful, Stan Van Gundy will expect Lonzo Ball to carry the Pelicans offense. Ball has been in good form lately, averaging 17.6 points, 7 rebounds and 6.7 assists to go with 2 steals in his last 10 games.
He has made major improvements in his 3-point shooting, which has led to him making 37.6% of his three-point attempts in the 2020-21 season. Lonzo has huge responsibility on his shoulders tonight and it will be intriguing to see how he reacts to the challenge.
Point Guard - Lonzo Ball | Shooting Guard - Eric Bledsoe | Small Forward - Naji Marshall | Power Forward - James Johnson | Center - Willy Hernangomez
The Charlotte Hornets have moved the ball quite well this season, averaging close to 27 assists per contest. They have been a brilliant offensive rebounding outfit as well, grabbing 10.5 offensive boards per game. The Hornets have shown active hands on defense and rank in the top ten for steals per game.
The Charlotte Hornets won their last game by a comfortable scoreline of 122-112 against the Orlando Magic. James Borrego will be hoping for a similar result tonight, especially with a playoff spot on the line. The Charlotte Hornets welcomed LaMelo Ball back recently from injury, and he is expected to play a pivotal role for them against the Pelicans.
Former Boston Celtics man Terry Rozier is having a career year with the Charlotte Hornets. The combo guard is averaging 20 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds per game, while shooting an impressive 39.1% from downtown. He is also tallying 1.2 steals per game, fulfilling his assignment on the defensive side of the ball.
Rozier has played the role of primary scorer for the Charlotte Hornets this season, and he could have a big night against a relatively poor New Orleans Pelicans defense.
Point Guard - LaMelo Ball | Shooting Guard - Terry Rozier | Small Forward - Jaden McDaniels | Power Forward - PJ Washington | Center - Bismack Biyombo
The New Orleans Pelicans will go into tonight's game without the services of Zion Williamson and possibly Brandon Ingram, making the Charlotte Hornets automatic favorites. The Hornets have a great opportunity to rack up another win, which they should be able to do without much resistance.
The New Orleans Pelicans vs Charlotte Hornets game will be televised live on NBA TV. Local coverage will be available on Bally Sports New Orleans and Bally Sports South East- Charlotte. The match can also be streamed live on the NBA League Pass.