Charlotte at Golden State Time: 9:30 PM CT (NBA LP) Spread: GSW -15.5 Total: 224
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
The Charlotte Hornets started the season hot, but the cooling has been quicker than an Arctic winter with the team now losers of seven of its past 10 and traveling to face the league’s toughest team at the toughest venue. NBA oddsmakers are not optimistic on their chances, with the Hornets 15.5 point underdogs against the high-powered, nearly-unbeatable dynasty that is the Golden State Warriors.
Stephen Curry is going be active for this game, and he has been heating up in his own right as the Warriors are tallying 118 points per game and boasting 13.1 point differential. Kevin Durant is having a season by the books for efficiency. Klay Thompson still fires flames in milliseconds, and Draymond Green is the engine that makes it all run.
The Warriors are 21-3 at Oracle arena, and with the Hornets being a paltry 8-16 on the road this season, the stage is set for a potential blowout. Even with Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum playing great ball, the Hornets have a mediocre front court and the play has not been consistent from any of its 4/5 rotation.
Charlotte has dropped tive-striaght and one of those was to the Warriors at home, losing by 10 points just some four games ago. Losses to the New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers have only come to cast the Hornets’ playoff legitimacy into question. To be clear, it is a team with missing pieces and a premier point guard, and that is really a recipe for fringe playoff contention, even in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte most recently fell to Portland 115-98 despite 22 points from Walker and only trailing by eight at the half.
The Hornets are struggling to find consistent offense outside its backcourt, and that problem s something that can really only be addressed via trade. But with this trade deadline potentially being more active than those of the recent past, the chance should be there for the Hornets to add a premier wing scorer or more dominant post player.
Neither would be a bad choice, and while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is undeniably a valuable rotation player, on this team there just needs to be more scoring punch from the 3-spot.
MKG cannot provide that, not with his ill-formed disgusting jumper he is hell-bent on not changing (Mark Price needs to mail him a “go screw yourself” card for Christmas after countless hours of toiling away just to see him go back to his wicked screw-driver jumper).
That said, this is really a game between a team absolutely stacked and unstoppable on the offensive team against a club with mostly struggles in that regard. The over/under is set at 224, but that is not really a reflection of the fact that Charlotte has much of a chance in this game. Expect the Warriors to set the tone early at home and put this away by the half.
It probably will not be the game of the night to watch, but it is a safe bet the Warriors win by at least 10, with covering the 15.5 point spread very much in play given Charlotte’s struggles and Golden State’s inevitable net scorchings.
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