San Antonio (11-3) at Charlotte (8-5)
When: Wednesday, November 23rd 2016
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: ESPN
The San Antonio Spurs look for their seventh win in a row when they visit the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night at the Spectrum Center. The Spurs are coming off a 96-91 home win against Dallas, but head coach Gregg Popovich did not sound very happy with his team after the game. “That was a pathetic performance on the part of the Spurs,” Popovich told reporters. “They had some guys out. We had some guys out. But they had a lot more out than we did. I felt we showed a lack of humility, a lack of respect for the opponent.” San Antonio center Pau Gasol, who is in his first season with the Spurs, doesn’t mind the comments at all. “If we want to win a championship, we’re going to have to be excellent.” Gasol, who won a pair of championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, is averaging 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Spurs. Point guard Tony Parker (knee) sat out the Dallas game and is listed day-to-day. The Spurs hold a two game lead over both Houston and Memphis in the Southwest Division.
The Hornets were one of the surprise teams early with an 8-3 start, but have since hit a wall with two straight losses including a 105-90 home loss to Memphis on Monday. Charlotte got behind by 26 points in that game and made a bit of a rally before cooling off. Hornets coach Steve Clifford told reporters, “It’s a long season and everybody’s going to have nights like this. Hopefully we learned our lesson tonight and we’ll be better on Wednesday.” Charlotte shot 41.1% overall and 9-of-31 from 3-point range against Memphis, and the biggest shooting struggles came from the backcourt. Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum combined to go 7-of-22 from the floor, including 2-of-14 from beyond the arc. Walker finished with 17 points to end a string of 11 straight games with at least 20 points and is 5-of-23 from 3-point range in his last three games. Charlotte is one game behind Atlanta in the Southeast Division.
I expect Charlotte to come out of the gates a lot better on Wednesday and Walker and Batum will bounce back from horrible shooting nights. The Hornets are 7th in the league in defensive field goal percentage at 43.6% and will hold the Spurs to under 100.
Pick: Hornets +4