Key Matchup vs. Dallas Mavericks: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs. Harrison Barnes
The beginning of a three-game homestead for the Charlotte Hornets commences on Wednesday night as they take on the visiting Dallas Mavericks for the first time this season.
Veteran Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has continued to be a consistent, two-way player for the Hornets this season. The Kentucky product is putting up 10.8 points on 53.7 percent shooting and 4.8 rebounds (2.4 offensive) over his last five outings and also currently ranks tied for third in the NBA right now in turnover ratio (5.0 percent; mini. 15.0 MPG).
The Charlotte small forward will be matched up against another class of 2012 draftee in Harrison Barnes, who is having a career year in his second season with the Mavericks. The Iowa native is averaging 21.0 points on 52.5 percent shooting over his last five appearances while also registering overall career-high marks in rebounds (6.6), assists (2.1) and double-doubles (6) this year.
Never known as a long-distance threat, Barnes is averaging a personal-high 3.8 three-point attempts per game this season, despite a conversion rate of just 34.8 percent (second-lowest mark of his career). Kidd-Gilchrist should look to keep the former UNC Tar Heel away from the mid-range and paint areas and force him to continue settling for more of those low-percentage outside shots.