The Charlotte Hornets (4-7) will look to get back in the win column after losing their last three games when they host the Detroit Pistons (4-8) at the Spectrum Center on Friday night.
But they'll need to reign in their tendency to let opponents erupt into high scoring quarters - particularly those that go over 30-points. Avoiding the 30-plus point quarter is something head coach James Borrego has been stressing to his team since training camp. In Wednesday night's game vs. the Memphis Grizzlies the team allowed two such scoring bonanzas.
On offense, experimenting with various starting lineups is still a work in progress for Borrego. It appears to be a remedy that is starting to work better with time - especially the one against Memphis on Wednesday. The lineup that featured Terry Rozier and Devonte' Graham together showed promise that please the coaching staff. "To know that you have another partner on the floor that can make plays, I think it just settles everything to know that I don't have to make every decision, every possession," Borrego said. "Obviously we scored enough point ...but the other end of the floor we need to tighten up."
Another bright spot is Hornet's guard Malik Monk. Monk appears to have turned the corner with being more involved on both ends of the floor. After taking steps, in the off-season, to get stronger physically as well as honing his mental focus on the game, Monk's efforts have payed off in increased scoring and been the catalyst for numerous big-play opportunities. "If something's not working you gotta go to something else and I've got multiple things in my package that I haven't shown yet," Monk said.
Still missing from the lineup is sharp-shooter Nic Batum. Batum continues to recover from a finger injury. He is projected to return for Charlotte's upcoming four-game road trip, which begins Saturday against the New York Knicks. "Sometimes just little stuff ...pushing a guy or grabbing the ball ...it doesn't feel good when I do that," Batum said. "I feel way better this week."
The Pistons come into Friday's game led by Luke Kennard's three-straight 20-plus point games. But unfortunately those efforts were not enough to avoid three-straight losses. And just shutting down Kennard will not be enough as the Pistons will also have Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose who have played limited minutes since returning from injuries back in the lineup along with Andre Drummond.
Drummond, who averaged double-double in the first 11 games of the season, leads the league with 16.8 rebounds per game and will be the biggest challenge for Charlotte. The Pistons, however, are not out of the woods regarding injuries. Shooting guard Khyri Thomas underwent surgery on his right foot Wednesday and will be out for at least six weeks.
FOR THE ODDS MAKERS:
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Friday at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Spectrum Center -- Charlotte, North Carolina
TV: Fox Sports Carolina
HORNETS UPCOMING GAMES
11/16, Sat New York Knicks Madison Square Garden 7:30 p.m. FSSE
11/18, Mon Toronto Raptors Scotia Bank Arena 7:30 p.m. FSSE
11/20, Wed Brooklyn Nets Barclays Center 7:30 p.m. FSSE
11/22, Fri Washington Wizards Capital One Arena 7 p.m. FSSE