Key Matchup vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Marvin Williams vs. Carmelo Anthony
The Hornets will look to close out their three-game homestand with a second win in as many days as they wrap up the season series with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.
After a pair of scoreless games to open the team’s recent West Coast road trip, Marvin Williams has bounced back nicely with averages of 11.5 points on 57.1 percent shooting (52.6 percent from three-point range), 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steal over his past four outings. The former UNC Tar Heel also ranks third amongst NBA power forwards in three-point percentage this season as well (career-high 42.7 percent).
Part of containing the Thunder’s three-headed monster will be limiting Carmelo Anthony, who is in his first year with the franchise following a lengthy tenure with the Knicks. Since registering a season-low four points against Denver on Dec. 18, Anthony is averaging 18.3 points on 46.4 percent shooting and 4.3 rebounds over his last 12 appearances for Oklahoma City.
Despite also having reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and three-time All-NBA honoree Paul George, the Thunder haven’t experienced the instant success many thought they would entering the season. Charlotte, which has won a franchise-record-tying three-straight games against the franchise, will need to force Oklahoma City to play to its pace and control the glass in order to pick up a second-straight win.