Key Matchup vs. Boston Celtics: Kemba Walker vs. Kyrie Irving
The two highest-scoring Eastern Conference point guards will be the focus on Wednesday night when the Charlotte Hornets host the Boston Celtics for their lone visit to Spectrum Center this year.
Despite dealing with shoulder, wrist and head injuries already this season, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker has continued to produce for the Hornets. The seventh-year veteran seems to have snapped out of a recent shooting slump with averages of 22.0 points on 45.8 percent shooting (40.9 percent from three-point range), 2.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals over his last three appearances.
After a blazing 22-4 start to their schedule, the Celtics have come back to earth a bit with a 5-6 record over their last 11 games. Four-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving has also been banged up a bit for Boston recently, but has still managed to put up 28.3 points on 48.8 percent shooting (43.7 percent from three-point range) and 5.5 assists across his previous eight outings.
While Walker ranks second in the NBA in points as the pick-and-roll handler (10.9; mini. 20 GP), Irving is tied for 10th in points scored in isolation plays per game (3.4; mini. 20 GP). Look for both these players to utilize their bread and better when they meet in Charlotte for the only time this campaign.