Key Matchup vs. Brooklyn Nets: Nicolas Batum vs. D'Angelo Russell
A second home meeting in two weeks with the Brooklyn Nets lies in store for the Hornets as they'll try and put an end to a four-game losing streak tonight in Charlotte.
Arguably the hottest player on the team over the last few weeks, Nicolas Batum is as dangerous an all-around threat right now as he has been all season. Since the All-Star Break, the 6-8 shooting guard has put up 11.1 points, 1.8 three-pointers, 6.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists (4th in the NBA; mini. 7 GP) and 1.6 steals over nine total appearances for Charlotte.
Batum could spend time guarding third-year lefty, D'Angelo Russell, who arrived in Brooklyn last summer after spending his first two seasons with the Lakers. Russell missed a lot of action earlier this season (knee surgery), although is still managing career highs in scoring (15.6 points), rebounding (3.7), assists (5.0) and field-goal percentage (42.0 percent) in 31 outings.
Coming off a 20-point, eight-assist performance against Golden State two nights ago, Russell has been playing better lately following the lengthy absence. Look for Batum to establish some tempo and rhythm earlier on and while using his size and length to lockdown the crafty Russell tonight at Spectrum Center.