In their first two meetings this season, the Charlotte Hornets lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers both times, with the most recent defeat being a 103-90 rout last week. Taurean Prince came off the bench to score 25 points, while Darius Garland and Kevin Love added 17 points apiece.
The Charlotte Hornets will want to keep the Cleveland Cavaliers from sweeping the season series, so we expect a fired-up squad for this contest.
Fixture - Cleveland Cavaliers vs Charlotte Hornets | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Friday, April 23rd, 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, April 24th, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue - Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Cleveland Cavaliers Preview
Friday's encounter will be the first of three consecutive games on the road for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have a 21-37 record (13th in the Eastern Conference) after defeating the Chicago Bulls 121-105 on Wednesday. Collin Sexton scored 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting overall and 3-of-5 from three-point territory.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have won four of their last nine outings after enduring a five-game losing streak that ended in early April. Many of their key players are healthy again, although Prince is out for the season as he undergoes ankle surgery.
Though the Charlotte Hornets are the team that’s in the play-in tournament picture if the season ends today, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the ones playing better basketball.
Key Player - Collin Sexton
Collin Sexton is having an unbelievable season and is registering career-best numbers across the board, with 24.4 points, 4.1 assists and 1.1 steals a night.
It’s just unfortunate that his big performances haven’t always resulted in wins for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The next step in his development is making his team and teammates better while putting up his usual numbers.
In his last seven games, Sexton has upped his per-game scoring to 26.9 on 51.5 percent shooting from the field, including 46.2 percent from three. The Cavs are 3-4 in these games as the former eighth pick of the draft has been leading the charge.
He will go head-to-head with Devonte Graham of the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.
Cleveland Cavaliers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Collin Sexton l Shooting Guard - Darius Garland l Small Forward - Isaac Okoro l Power Forward - Kevin Love l Center - Jarrett Allen
Charlotte Hornets Preview
It has been a difficult few weeks for the Charlotte Hornets as they lost six of their last seven contests. Injuries to Lonzo Ball, Malik Monk and Gordon Hayward have taken a toll on the team as they have struggled to put points on the board in those games.
The Hornets failed to score 100 points in four of those losses. Their three injured players have a combined scoring average of 48.6 points a night. Several players will have to step up to approximate their production.
Among the players who need to step up big time versus the Cleveland Cavaliers are Graham, Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington.
Key Player - Terry Rozier
Speaking of players who need to step up, Terry Rozier has been doing his part to keep the team winning, even if his efforts have not been rewarded.
His personal stats have been excellent over the last six games. He averages 23.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals per contest.
The problem lies with some of his teammates, who have not put forth the effort on a consistent basis.
Regardless, Rozier has to keep stepping on the gas pedal if the Charlotte Hornets have any hope of winning again regularly.
Charlotte Hornets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Devonte Graham l Shooting Guard - Terry Rozier l Small Forward - Miles Bridges l Power Forward - Jalen McDaniels l Center - Vernon Carey Jr.
Cavaliers vs Hornets Match Prediction
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been highly competitive lately, even if their record doesn’t show it. It’s late in the season for a playoff push, but they are not necessarily out of it either. In fact, they are playing much better than the Charlotte Hornets, who are badly missing key personnel.
With the way the two teams have been playing, don’t be surprised if the Cavaliers beat the Hornets handily on Friday.