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5 NBA things to know for Nov. 7

Jeff Case, NBA.com

Get up to speed on the latest NBA news, plus a quick look at stories we’ll be following closely today:

1. A reunion in Charlotte: For the first time in eight seasons, Kemba Walker will be playing in North Carolina as a visitor. He and his Celtics take on the Hornets (8 ET, TNT) and this one won’t be all about emotional reunions. There’s the underlying revenge factor for ex-Celtics guard Terry Rozier against his old squad, plus both teams coming into this game hot (Boston has won five straight; Charlotte has won three).

2. Kawhi back at it tonight: The Clippers’ star generated a lot of buzz from the league office in missing last night’s 129-124 loss to the Bucks. He will suit up in tonight’s clash (10:30 ET, TNT) with a Blazers squad that has been hammered by injuries to open 2019-20. Although this will be Leonard’s first time facing Portland as a Clipper, last season he averaged 33 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2 steals per game against the Blazers.

3. How is Simmons doing?: If you missed it last night, Ben Simmons had to leave the Sixers’ eventual 106-104 loss to the Jazz because of a right shoulder injury he suffered in the first quarter. Philadelphia is off until Friday’s game against Denver (9 ET, League Pass) and Simmons is set to have the injury looked at further today. After getting Joel Embiid back last night from his two-game suspension, losing Simmons would be a big blow for Philly.

4. Sizzling showdown in Miami: Thanks to their identical 5-2 starts, the Heat and Suns are two of the big surprise squads in 2019-20. Phoenix is one of two teams (the Bucks being the other) to rank in the top 10 in Offensive and Defensive Rating. The Heat have a top 5 defense while also excel at boxing out and snagging steals, too. How Devin Booker and Co. manage against Jimmy Butler’s crew should make for a fun watch (9 ET, League Pass).

5. An early entrant for Shaqtin’?: With a TNT doubleheader tonight, that means Inside The NBA … which means the first Shaqtin’ A Fool of the 2019-20 regular season. We’re not sure who will be in the mix, but Eric Bledsoe made a case for a spot on the dubious list with this inbounds gaffe last night in L.A. …

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