Hornets Looking to Leave Las Vegas With Win Over Bulls

by Sam Perley
  • Charlotte Hornets (0-4) vs. Chicago Bulls (1-2)
  • Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 at 10 PM EDT (Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV)
  • ESPN2, NBA League Pass, WatchESPN
  • Last Summer League meeting between these teams: July 10, 2019 (Bulls won, 75-72)

Charlotte Edged Out By 1 Point Again in Tough Loss to Raptors

The Hornets were agonizingly close to picking up their first NBA Summer League victory on Saturday night, even holding an 11-point lead with about six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. A late Raptors rally and a handful of self-inflicted mistakes ended up sending Charlotte to its second straight one-point loss after falling short against the Spurs on Thursday afternoon.

Easier said than done with a young, relatively inexperienced NBA team, the path to victory tonight is seemingly straightforward – the Hornets have to cut down on the turnovers and keep the ball moving, especially during crunch time. Charlotte has committed well over 20 giveaways in three of its four Summer League contests, although the assist rate has picked up nicely across these past two losses (49 total on 73 made field goals; 67.1%).

Pair of Big Men Leading the Way for Bulls’ Summer League Squad

Chicago, which played its fourth Summer League game late Monday night, has received great minutes from NBA All-Rookie Second-Team forward Patrick Williams out in Las Vegas this past week. Last year’s fourth overall pick is averaging 21.0 points on just 38% shooting (7-of-16 from three), 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists through the team’s first three contests and at this point, is probably in or approaching Summer League shutdown territory.

Another name to watch out for on the Bulls is Marko Simonović, a 21-year-old rookie forward/center from Montenegro, who recently signed a three-year deal with the team after being taken with the 44th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. The 6-11 Simonović played the last two seasons for Serbia’s Mega Basket and since coming stateside, is putting up 12.0 points on 46% shooting, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals heading into Monday night’s contest.

Hornets Player to Watch: Scottie Lewis

A crucial late turnover shouldn’t take away from the breakout performance Lewis had on Saturday evening against Toronto, as the Hornets’ two-way signee finished with 10 points (2-of-2 from three), four rebounds, four assists, a steal and two blocks in 27 minutes of action. The former Florida Gator missed the team’s second outing against Sacramento with a sprained ankle, but since then, has looked extremely active and made plays on both ends for Charlotte.

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