Key Matchup vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jeremy Lamb vs. Kyle Korver
While the top priority for Charlotte’s starting unit in Cleveland will undoubtedly be LeBron James, look for a pair of sharp-shooting two-guards to play a pivotal role when the Hornets and Cavaliers meet again on Friday night.
With Nic Batum expected to be sidelined (elbow), look for Lamb to return to the Charlotte starting lineup, where he averaged 16.1 points (45.7 percent from three-point range), 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 12 total outings earlier this year. The Hornets also hold a net rating of 5.5 in the 489 minutes Lamb has been on the court this season, which dips down to -4.5 in the 332 minutes he’s been on the bench.
The Hornets will need Lamb to keep the momentum going at Quicken Loans Arena, particularly when guarding 15-year veteran and long-distance shooting great Kyle Korver. The NBA’s fifth all-time leader in shots made from behind the arc (2,094), Korver is averaging 12.3 points and 2.8 three-point field goals on 40.5 percent shooting during Cleveland’s six-game winning streak.
With starting shooting guard J.R. Smith struggling lately on offense, Korver could get plenty of run with the first-string Cavaliers. Lamb will need to put a lot of pressure on the former Creighton Bluejay, especially with regards to corner three-point attempts.