Key Matchup vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs. Andrew Wiggins
The Charlotte Hornets will look to build off an impressive home win two days ago as they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves for the second and final time this season on Monday night.
Since returning from personal leave on Nov. 10, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has started to come on for the Hornets with averages of 11.5 points on 57.6 percent shooting, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in his last four outings. The sixth-year Kentucky product is also currently ranked 11th in the league amongst small forwards in defensive real plus-minus (1.00 points per 100 possessions).
Kidd-Gilchrist – who did not play against the Timberwolves on Nov. 5 – will spend the bulk of his time guarding Minnesota’s fourth-year scoring sensation Andrew Wiggins. The first overall pick four summers ago, the Canadian wing is putting up 19.3 points on a career-high 46.6 percent shooting to go along with 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and a personal-best 1.4 steals per appearance this campaign.
Wiggins had a game-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting in a win over the Hornets two weeks ago, but will be challenged to replicate that performance with Kidd-Gilchrist back in the mix. Charlotte should look to force the Minnesota forward into settling for contested shots from three-point range, where he is converting just 31.8 percent of his attempts.