Charlotte Hornets vs. Washington Wizards Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 8th 2023


There might be some experimentation going on for the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets.

They begin a home-and-home set Wednesday night in Charlotte, with both in need of some alterations in results.

Neither team has exactly soared in the early going, with the Hornets at 2-4 and the Wizards at 1-5.

The Hornets wasted LaMelo Ball’s triple-double in Sunday night’s 124-118 loss at Dallas. With 30 points, the point guard registered just the second regular-season triple-double that included at least 30 points in franchise history — and the first in more than 23 years.

“Trying to do as much as I could,” Ball said.

The Hornets took Monday off after playing both weekend nights.

“That will give us a day to study things and prioritize what we need to work on,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said.

The Wizards, losers of four in a row, should have a long to-do list as well. Defense has been the obvious problem for Washington, which has given up more than 120 points in all five of its losses.

Monday night’s 146-128 setback at Philadelphia marked the second time the Wizards have given up more than 140 points in a game.

“Too many coverage mistakes,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said.

The porous defense has negated some of the strong offensive numbers supplied by forward Kyle Kuzma, who has been the team’s top scorer in all except one game this season. He’s averaging 23.7 points per game.

The Wizards have concerns with rebounding as well. They’ve only had one game with a player reaching a double-digit rebounding total — Kuzma with 13 and Daniel Gafford with 11 in the Oct. 28 victory against Memphis.

Washington received a season-high 10 points from 19-year-old rookie Bilal Coulibaly on Monday.

“This has been awesome for him, this experience,” Unseld said.

Charlotte could again be without guard Terry Rozier, who was injured in Saturday’s win at Indiana. His absence in the Dallas game might have signaled to Ball that increased production would be appreciated.

Still, Rozier and Ball have been a complementary backcourt when they’re together.

Rozier’s potential absence again means increased roles for Bryce McGowens and Ish Smith in the backcourt. P.J. Washington can be shifted as well.

“We also have the ability to move P.J. to the 3(-spot) more,” Clifford said.

McGowens began the season on the injury list, but his versatility could be a plus.

“He has worked hard on his shooting and I think he can play a really good all-around game,” Clifford said.

Both the Wizards and Hornets have had heavy road assignments.

This will be the final stop on Washington’s four-game road stretch. The Hornets and Wizards will have a rematch Friday night in Washington.

For Charlotte, Wednesday’s game will be the only home game during a five-game span. The Hornets opened the season with a three-game homestand, winning the first game before losing the next two.

Washington defeated Charlotte in three of the four meetings last season. The Hornets never scored more than 104 points in any of their defeats.

–Field Level Media

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