The 2020-21 NBA season continues with another exciting matchup, as the gritty Golden State Warriors take on the feisty Charlotte Hornets on Saturday at 8 PM ET. The fixture marks the first meeting between the two sides this season.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for 3-time NBA champion Stephen Curry, who went to school and attended college in the city. Curry has almost always performed at a high level on his return to Charlotte. Thus he is expected to produce another stellar outing against the Charlotte Hornets.
Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets are set to return to the NBA hardwood after missing two games due to the league's stringent health and safety protocols. In good news for the Charlotte Hornets, they have not reported any new positive tests over the last few days. That has meant that the Charlotte Hornets received the green light to participate in what should be an action-packed matchup.
Golden State Warriors Preview
The Golden State Warriors will enter this contest with a 16-14 record on the season. The Dubs are currently occupying the eighth spot in a stacked Western Conference.
The Golden State Warriors dropped their previous game to the resurgent Orlando Magic in a 120-124 game-time decision. They shot efficiently from the floor, but experienced a horrible night at the free-throw line, registering a sub-par 60% accuracy.
Nevertheless, Nikola Vucevic made full use of his size advantage to drop an impressive triple-double. However, Stephen Curry countered Vucevic with his own near triple-double performance, scoring 29 points and dishing out 11 assists while controlling seven boards to consign the Warriors to their 14th loss of the season.
Charlotte Hornets Preview
Like the Golden State Warriors, the Charlotte Hornets are also in eighth spot but in the Eastern Conference, after making a 13-15 start to the season.
The Charlotte Hornets dropped their last game to the resurgent San Antonio Spurs, and will be eager to bounce back with a win against the Golden State Warriors.
In the loss to the Spurs, the shorthanded Hornets witnessed an epic performance from Terry Rozier, who scored 33 points in 40 minutes from the floor; Malik Monk and new sensation LaMelo Ball combined for 40 points on the night.
The Charlotte Hornets are looking primed to end their playoff drought this season but could have a tough outing against the Golden State Warriors.
Warriors vs Hornets Injury updates
The Golden State Warriors face another challenging matchup, as they don't have a true center in their lineup yet.
Their up-and-coming star James Wiseman and Kevon Looney have both been sidelined due to injury. Meanwhile, Marquese Chriss and one-half of the Splash Brothers, Klay Thompson, remain out after both players suffered season-ending injuries.
On a brighter note, Draymond Green rejoined the team in their previous outing and will be available to start against the Charlotte Hornets.
Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets have a few injury concerns of their own.
Cody Martin and Caleb Martin have been ruled out due to COVID-19 protocols. Point guard Devonte' Graham (knee) has been listed as doubtful for Saturday's game.
With Graham sidelined, LaMelo Ball could get the nod to start against the Golden State Warriors. Ball will likely face off against Stephen Curry in an entertaining backcourt duel. The young player has been balling in recent games, averaging an impressive 20.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists in his last eight outings.
Meanwhile, Gordon Hayward (back) is a doubtful starter.
Warriors vs Hornets Predicted Lineups
The short-handed Golden State Warriors don't have much room for trying out different lineups, as they are severely depleted in the frontcourt. Steve Kerr will have to send out the same starting five he used against the Orlando Magic.
Kelly Oubre Jr. and Stephen Curry should feature in the backcourt. The pair performed well in the last game, combining for an impressive total of 55 points between them. Dubs will need another strong showing from them in this matchup.
Andrew Wiggins and Juan Toscano-Anderson should resume their roles as the two forwards but will need to switch defensive coverages too.
Draymond Green is likely to come in at center position where he could have a challenging matchup with counterpart Cody Zeller. Green had a slow night against the Magic and will be hungry to rediscover his mojo.
Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets will hope to maintain their position in the top eight teams in the East with a win at home. The Hornets will enter this contest with a .464 winning percentage.
James Borrego will probably send the top candidate for Rookie of The Year, LaMelo Ball, to start the game, as Graham is unavailable.
Ball could join Gordon Hayward in a head-to-head with Curry and Oubre Jr. in the backcourt. Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier are set to resume their roles in the frontcourt as the two forwards. Cody Zeller will look to destroy the Warriors with his size advantage over Draymond at the center position.
Golden State Warriors Predicted Lineup
PG Kelly Oubre Jr, SG Stephen Curry, SF Andrew Wiggins, PF Juan Toscano-Anderson, C Draymond Green.
Charlotte Hornets Predicted Lineup
PG LaMelo Ball, SG Gordon Hayward, SF Miles Bridges, PF Terry Rozier, C Cody Zeller.