Key Matchup vs. Detroit Pistons: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs. Tobias Harris
The Charlotte Hornets are set for a rare matinee affair on Martin Luther King Jr. Day as they’ll head north to take on the Detroit Pistons on Monday afternoon for the second time this season.
Charlotte will need a superb defensive performance from small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, particularly going up against the NBA’s second-ranked team in terms of three-point percentage (38.1 percent). Offensively, the former Kentucky Wildcat is steadily averaging 10.4 points on 48.5 percent shooting, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists over his last eight outings.
On the other side of the floor, Tobias Harris is continuing to have a career year in his second full season with the Pistons. Acquired by Detroit around the 2015 NBA trade deadline, the seventh-year vet is putting up career-high marks in scoring (18.2 points) and three-point field goals (2.5) to go along with 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and just 1.0 turnover per appearance this season.
Harris led the Pistons with 27 points and 10 rebounds in a 102-90 home win over the Hornets back on Oct. 18, although Kidd-Gilchrist did not play in the game. With Reggie Jackson (ankle) and Jon Leuer (ankle) out of the lineup and Avery Bradley struggling with his shot (shooting just 41.8 percent), expect Kidd-Gilchrist to be plenty busy guarding Detroit’s number-one offensive weapon.