Detroit and Charlotte both came into the season with plenty of well-paid players and plenty of disappointment. Both replaced their front office leadership and coaching staff. Both now have six wins in the Eastern Conference.
But don’t overlook just how much Charlotte has transformed its team, led, as always, by the brilliant playmaking of Kemba Walker.
When: 3:30 p.m. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Fox Sport Detroit, NBA League Pass
The Hornets are coming off a 133-132 overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and have lost five games by five points or fewer.
The Hornets have played the seventh most difficult schedule during this young season and have the fifth most potent offense in the NBA a year after ranking 13th.
Led by Kemba Walker’s 28.3 points per game. Walker’s always been a dynamic playmaker, but behind James Borrego he is hoisting more 3s than ever (more than 10 per game) and connecting at a better than 38 percent clip.
Walker is flanked by Malik Monk, Jeremy Lamb and sneaky good big man play from the tandem of Cody Zeller and Willy Hernangomez.
The Hornets biggest weaknesses are mediocre rebounding, a lack of playmakers besides Walker and an inability to get to the line. Still, when your primary playmaker is as good was Walker you don’t really need great secondary ball handlers. you just need your players willing to take all the open shots Walker creates.
The Hornets have five players who have taken more than half their shots from 3 and are connecting at 36.8 percent of attempts.
I wouldn’t be surprised if coach Dwane Casey dusts off Bruce Brown in this game as a potential Kemba stopper if the Hornets get off to a hot start.
They’ll also have to maximize their size advantage, which they typically have on just about every team in the NBA.
Another Drummond 20-20 game on decent efficiency would be appreciated and if the game comes down to a Walker vs. Blake Griffin showdown the Pistons would have a decent shot of coming out on top.
When looking at the bench matchups, I’ll be interested to see the Stanley Johnson vs. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist power forward matchup, and Ish Smith could potentially put Tony Parker through his paces and make him look like all of his 36 years.
Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Glenn Robinson III, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond
Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller
Who scores more points, Andre Drummond or the Detroit Lions?