The Charlotte Hornets host the struggling Detroit Pistons on Saturday night and will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing to the Boston Celtics. The two teams face each other twice in the next four days. Charlotte will be looking to use the fixtures as a way to ensure they finish as high as possible ahead of their likely play-in tournament battle.
Fixture: Detroit Pistons vs. Charlotte Hornets | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Saturday, May 1st, 7 PM ET (Sunday, May 2nd, 4:30 AM IST).
Venue: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Detroit Pistons Preview
To be fair to the Detroit Pistons, their defense has seen creditable improvements recently. Over their last 10 matchups, the Pistons have ranked among the top-five teams for the lowest number of fast-break points allowed. They are also in the top 10 for defensive rebounds and were mid-table for defensive rating.
However, in that period, the Pistons also sat among the bottom-six teams for points scored. Without Jerami Grant on the floor - who missed five of those games - they are particularly weak on offense. Regardless, that is all part of the Detroit Pistons' rebuilding project, which will likely remain ongoing for at least another season or two.
The Pistons have three rookies in their side in Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes - all of whom have impressed, with the rest of the campaign devoted to continuing their progression. And with a reasonably kind fixture schedule, the Pistons may be able to notch up some more wins.
Key Player - Jerami Grant
This season has been all Jerami Grant has wanted it to be. Although the Detroit Pistons are rock-bottom in the Eastern Conference, Grant has been exceptional and could win the Most Improved Player award.
The 27-year-old is valued by the Pistons as the experienced head to lead their rebuilding process. Although they could see sizable offers come in for Grant this summer, he will likely want to maintain his role as the Detroit Pistons' primary shot-taker.
Although Grant hasn't been as accurate with his shooting as in previous years, he is making a career-high 85% of free throws. The Detroit Pistons forward is also putting up his most efficient numbers in terms of points and assists per 36 minutes and averages 1.1 blocks per game.
Detroit Pistons Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Killian Hayes l Shooting Guard - Josh Jackson l Small Forward - Saddiq Bey l Power Forward - Jerami Grant l Center - Mason Plumlee.
Charlotte Hornets Preview
The Charlotte Hornets are doing the best they can to keep ahold of the eighth seed in the East without two of their top scorers. The Hornets currently sit just two games ahead of the Wizards in 10 after losing seven of their previous 10 encounters.
During that time, the Charlotte Hornets ranked inside the bottom three teams for points per matchup, despite Miles Bridges, Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington all averaging over 19 points.
However, putting that run into perspective, we can see that the Hornets had to face seven opponents with winning records. Their remaining 10 games only contain four such teams. Regardless of whether they make it into the postseason, this has been a hugely successful season for the Charlotte Hornets and they have plenty of young talent with which to progress in the upcoming campaigns.
Key Player - Miles Bridges
Miles Bridges has been a walking highlight recently with the number of dunks he's managed, including a potential dunk of the year candidate against Clint Capela.
Over the Hornets' last 10 matchups, Bridges has contributed on both ends for the Charlotte Hornets, averaging 19.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3 assists. The 23-year-old has also shot the ball at over 50% from the field and an impressive 47% from downtown on 7 attempts per game.
Charlotte Hornets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Terry Rozier l Shooting Guard - Devonte' Graham l Small Forward - Cody Martin l Power Forward - Miles Bridges l Center - P.J. Washington.
Pistons vs. Hornets Match Prediction
The Charlotte Hornets should have too much for the Detroit Pistons in this matchup. While their home form hasn't been prolific, the Hornets have too many scoring options.
Rozier has led the line admirably for the Hornets. Meanwhile, Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball, who have been out for the Charlotte Hornets, will be looking to take advantage of the Detroit Pistons' inexperienced backcourt. The Hornets should be able to win comfortably and may even be able to hold the Pistons to under 110 points, which their opponents have been able to do in eight of their last 10 games.
Where to watch the Pistons vs. Hornets matchup
Fans can watch the Pistons vs. Hornets game on Bally Sports Detroit and on Bally Sports Southeast - Charlotte. It will also be available to fans who have an NBA League Pass.