Eastern Conference rivals Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons will face off for the second time in four days on Tuesday. The Hornets have won both the previous fixtures between the two sides this season.
Fixture: Charlotte Hornets vs Detroit Pistons | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, May 4th, 7 PM ET (Wednesday, 4:30 AM IST)
Venue: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Charlotte Hornets Preview
The Charlotte Hornets have won lost three of their last five games – including the one against the Miami Heat on Sunday – and their hopes of pushing for the sixth seed are all but over. James Borrego's men are currently placed eighth with a 31-33 record. The matchup against the Detroit Pistons is the perfect opportunity for the Hornets to build some momentum for their upcoming five-game homestand.
The Charlotte Hornets aren't at full strength yet, but the returns of LaMelo Ball and Malik Monk have certainly helped their cause. LaMelo has averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals in the two games since rejoining the rotation. Meanwhile, Monk has managed 11 points and 3.5 rebounds in the same duration.
Miles Bridges also continues to impress for the Charlotte Hornets. The forward has averaged 20.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists through the last 10 games. Small-ball center PJ Washington has been balling as well lately, averaging 18 points and 5.1 rebounds in his last 10 appearances.
Key Player - Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier has had a few tough games of late, but he saw little resistance as he dropped 29 points and seven rebounds against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. Rozier sets the tone on both ends of the court for the Charlotte Hornets. He leads the team in scoring with 20.3 points per game and is arguably their best defender too. The presence of LaMelo Ball should help Rozier get good looks on Tuesday.
Charlotte Hornets Predicted Lineup
G LaMelo Ball, G Terry Rozier, F Jalen McDaniels, F Miles Bridges, C PJ Washington
Detroit Pistons Preview
The Detroit Pistons enter this fixture on the back of a three-game losing run. Dwane Casey's men have won only three of their last 10 matchups and currently have a 19-46 record, the second-worst in the NBA right now.
The Detroit Pistons are purely focused on developing their young guns and securing good lottery odds. That's why they haven't risked their veterans at all, lately. The likes of Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Wayne Ellington and Cory Joseph have all missed the last three games and are questionable for the tie against the Charlotte Hornets as well.
Hamidou Diallo hasn't been as impressive in Detroit as he was in Oklahoma City, but the athletic guard has averaged 13.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in his last three appearances. Meanwhile, Frank Jackson has had a breakthrough of sorts with the Detroit Pistons. He's averaged 20.5 points off the bench through the last four games.
Key Player - Saddiq Bey
Rookie forward Saddiq Bey has shown shades of being a legitimate NBA player right from the get-go. He's shot the ball at 38.3% from deep and puts in a shift defensively as well. Bey had 26 points and nine rebounds in the Detroit Pistons' last game. He even managed 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday. With other veterans likely to sit out tonight, Saddiq Bey will enjoy a high usage rate again.
Detroit Pistons Predicted Lineup
G Killian Hayes, G Hamidou Diallo, F Saddiq Bey, F Sekou Doumbouya, C Isaiah Stewart
Hornets vs Pistons Match Prediction
This matchup between two largely young teams is likely to be a close affair but the Charlotte Hornets hold the edge on paper. They're the better team defensively and have explosive firepower to go on extended scoring runs. The Detroit Pistons will try to catch the Hornets off guard with their energy but they're likely to make a lot of mistakes as well due to the absence of veterans. Expect LaMelo Ball and co. to win this tie.
Where to watch Hornets vs Pistons?
Local coverage of the game will be available on Bally Sports Southeast–Charlotte and Bally Sports Detroit Plus. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.