(Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Lakers at Hornets: 10 Things to Know (3/3/15)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers visit the Charlotte Hornets.
1) Jeremy Lin has found his rhythm in the five games after the All-Star break, averaging a team-high 17.0 points on 50.0 percent shooting with 5.0 assists. Lin’s shot has improved significantly since the week off, as he was scoring just 8.2 points with a 39.5 field goal percentage in his six games before the break.
2) Post-All-Star break, no player has been more efficient with his shots than Ed Davis. The former North Carolina Tar Heel has gone 25-for-33 to lead the league in field goal percentage (75.8) over this stretch. Davis has done all of his work down low, as he has taken only one shot farther than five feet from the hoop.
3) The Lakers’ only other meeting with Charlotte was also their first win of the season. On Nov. 9, L.A. shot a season-high 64.1 percent (25-for-39) in the second half, outscoring the Hornets 65-41. Lin was the key to this, as he went 6-for-7 to pour in 17 points over the final two quarters.
4) This time around, the Hornets will be without leading scorer Kemba Walker (18.8 ppg). The fourth year pro has been out since Jan. 24 due to a torn meniscus in his left knee. Walker also led Charlotte in steals (1.4) and was averaging 30.3 points on 50.0 percent shooting in the week prior to his injury.
5) With Walker sidelined, the Hornets’ newest addition has assumed the scoring load. In his first five games with Charlotte, Mo Williams has averaged 23.4 points and 7.0 assists, while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 42.2 percent on 3-pointers. Williams, who scored just 12.2 points in 41 games with Minnesota this season, has excelled at creating his own shot in Charlotte, as 13.0 of his points per game have come off pull-ups.
Mo Williams Shot Chart (Hornets)
6) Al Jefferson has been the king of post-ups, as he takes 9.3 of those shots per game — 2.4 more than any other player. The NBA’s best in both volume and efficiency, Jefferson not only leads the league in post-up scoring (10.2), but also in field goal percentage (48.7).
7) The Lakers were on the other end of Jefferson’s best performance when he dropped a career- and Charlotte series-high 40 points on Jan. 31 last season. The 2014 Third Team All-NBA selection also hauled in 18 rebounds while shooting 18-for-32 from the field.
8) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has amped up his game recently, averaging 15.2 points on 54.2 percent shooting with 9.2 rebounds in his last five games. The 2012 second overall draft pick is also on a career-long, three-game double-double streak and ranks second among non-bigs this season with 7.5 rebounds per game.
9) Charlotte has struggled to score with efficiency this season, ranking second-to-last in field goal percentage (42.4). The Hornets’ problems don’t get any better from long distance, where they also sit next to the bottom in 3-point percentage (31.3).
Hornets Shot Chart
10) On the other end, Charlotte has played some of the NBA’s best defense in 2015. The Hornets lead the NBA in opponent scoring (91.8) and field goal percentage (40.7) since the new year began. In 2014, they yielded the 11th-most points (100.4) and the seventh-highest field goal percentage (46.1).
Recent Stories on Lakers.com