Hornets Heading for Home Stretch

Buzz Words | Hornets 2016-17 Season Notebook

Matt Rochinski and Sam Perley of hornets.com will be following the Hornets throughout 2016-17 NBA season and keeping fans up to date through the Buzz Words | Hornets Notebook. Keep checking back to see what the latest is as the season unfolds.

By Sam Perley, hornets.com | Monday, March 6, 11:47 a.m.

Fresh off a season-long seven-game road stretch, the Charlotte Hornets are back in town and looking to take advantage of a rather home-friendly March schedule. Although injuries have taken a toll on Charlotte’s rotation recently, players like forward Johnny O’Bryant, now on his second 10-day contract with the team, have stepped up in a big way for the Hornets.

“It’s always great to see guys play well when other guys go down,” said Kemba Walker after shootaround on Monday morning. “That’s what this league is all about. It’s about opportunity. When a guy like Frank [Kaminsky] goes down and a guy that we call up from the D-League in Johnny comes in and helps us the way he did the other night [with a career-high 15 points in Denver], that’s big time. That was a huge performance by him the other night because we really needed it.”

Tonight, three-time All-NBA honoree Paul George leads the Indiana Pacers into Spectrum Center, where they’ve lost four of their last five meetings with the Hornets. Coming off a last-second win against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday afternoon, the Pacers are currently tied for seventh in the NBA in field-goal percentage (46.5 percent) and ranked sixth in three-point percentage (37.2 percent) this season.

“[Indiana] is not the same team we beat earlier this season [on Nov. 7],” said Nicolas Batum. “They got better since then. Jeff Teague has been huge for them. We all know Paul George, but Teague has been amazing for them. Thaddeus Young got better. C.J. Miles has stepped up. [Glenn] Robinson is good. The young man inside, [Myles] Turner, is good. We all know what Al [Jefferson] can do inside. So, it won’t be an easy game.”

A win for the Hornets over the Pacers on Monday night would not only give them a crucial 2-1 edge in a season series that has potential playoff implications, but could also serve as a great springboard for the final 20 games of the 2016-17 NBA campaign.