Hornets to Make Spectrum Center Preseason Debut Against Heat
By Sam Perley
After a pair of contests with the Boston Celtics over the weekend, the Hornets will turn their attention to a different exhibition opponent in the Miami Heat, who they’ll face at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2 in Charlotte.
The Hornets are certainly playing faster and utilizing the three-point line noticeably more under new Head Coach James Borrego. Through two preseason outings, the squad is averaging 109.73 possessions per 48 minutes, a sharp increase from last season’s mark (100.53).
One area the Hornets need to improve upon is rebounding – specifically on the defensive end. Granted Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams were rested in Sunday’s loss, but Charlotte got outrebounded by the Celtics, 50-39, and 12-3 in offensive boards. A positive though was the Hornets only surrendered 11 second-chance points on 4-of-11 shooting.
Malik Monk will look to build on the 13-point, four-assist performance he had in his preseason debut. The second-year guard should spend some time matched up with Tyler Johnson, who recorded 11.7 points, 2.3 assists and a career-high 119 threes in 72 games last year for Miami.
Another Hornet player to keep an eye on is rookie guard, Joe Chealey. The Summer League standout currently signed to a training camp deal finished with eight points and two assists in 11 minutes on Sunday night.
Interesting Note – Monk and Devonte’ Graham will both be welcoming former college teammates to Charlotte on Tuesday night. Monk played one season with Bam Adebayo at Kentucky, while Graham and Malik Newman played for Kansas from 2016-18.