Boston Celtics vs Charlotte Hornets: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch – Boston Celtics vs Charlotte Hornets

Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

When: Thursday, 7 November 2019, 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT, NBC Sports Boston, | 98.5 The Sports Hub, WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM

Boston Celtics (Away)

Head Coach: Brad Stevens {All-Time 275-223 | BOS}

Season Record: 5-1

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kemba Walker – (G) Marcus Smart – (F) Jayson Tatum – (F) Gordon Hayward – (C) Daniel Theis

Top Performers

  • (G) Kemba Walker – 34.7 MPG | 26.0 PPG | 5.7 RPG | 3.7 APG
  • (F) Jayson Tatum – 35.5 MPG | 21.3 PPG | 7.5 RPG | 1.5 SPG
  • (F) Gordon Hayward – 34.2 MPG | 20.3 PPG | 7.5 RPG | .500 3P%

Six games into the season and the Boston Celtics are 5-1. Not bad for a squad that lost their only two All-Star calibre players.

While three of those wins come against the lowly New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers, that doesn’t diminish their accomplishments.

Despite losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in their season opener, the Celtics took close wins over the reigning champion Toronto Raptors and last years top-seed Milwaukee Bucks.

Brad Stevens has found himself a winning formula against the top and the bottom of the East.

The Charlotte Hornets present an interesting challenge, and Terry Rozier will surely be out to prove the Celtics made a mistake in not re-signing him.

Charlotte Hornets (Home)

Head Coach: James Borrego {All-Time 53-66 | ORL, CHA}

Season Record:4-3

Projected Starting Five: (G) Terry Rozier – (F) Dwayne Bacon – (F) PJ Washington – (F) Miles Bridges – (C) Cody Zeller

Top Performers

  • (G) Devonte’ Graham – 31.1 MPG | 17.3 PPG | 3.9 RPG | 6.7 APG
  • (G) Terry Rozier – 32.7 MPG | 16.9 PPG | 4.1 RPG | 5.6 APG
  • (F) PJ Washington – 32.3 MPG | 15.1 PPG | 6.1 RPG | 1.1 SPG

After a dreadful 1-3 start, the Charlotte Hornets were able to rally to get back above .500 with the aid of a favorable schedule.

Graham and Rozier have been an unexpected combo, but their team play as of late has been excellent.

While wins over the Kings and Warriors can hardly be called incredibly competitive at this point, an overtime thriller against the Pacers was just what they needed to inject some optimism into the club.

The Pacers are a strong team missing their star, but the Boston Celtics are an entirely different monster.

The Hornets have less time for mistakes and will have to improve their 27th ranked defence in order to beat the Celtics.

What’s at Stake for Celtics vs Hornets?

It isn’t a strong Eastern Conference rivalry, but it certainly is a regular one. The Boston Celtics lead the Charlotte Hornets in the all-time regular season series 63-43.

A win for the Boston Celtic would help them maintain their top status in the Eastern Conference.

A win for the Charlotte Hornets will help propel them further up the Eastern Conference table and keep them out of the bottom half.

Boston Wants to Clean Up Their Offence

The Boston Celtics have been winning games, although not in an entirely attractive fashion. While their defence has been impressive, their offense hasn’t always matched that effort.

Some growing pains are expected when a team faces such an overhaul, but the difference from last year is apparent. Almost 53% of the Celtics shots have come with the nearest defender within four feet, way up from last years 43.5%.

Despite Kemba Walker being a ball-oriented scorer, the offense is moving better. However, their ability to finish at the rim needs improvement. The Hornets don’t own the NBA’s most intimidating defense, so Boston has a real chance to clean up their issues.

Charlottes Resolve Against the Pacers Was Excellent

Last year Charlotte Hornets would’ve failed the landing in their last overtime affair with the Pacers.

Rallying back from a 17 point deficit to force an overtime victory was impressive for this Hornets group.

A late fourth-quarter rally from the Hornets is what keyed their incoming victory.

It was their veterans Biyombo and Rozier who helped them lead the way.

It was clear that their experiences with winning programs – the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics respectively – rubbed off on this performance.

Key defensive plays and offensive opportunities are what will help any team succeed.

But the Hornets showed something new, an ability to win ugly against a strong team.

Taking a victory on a night where you performed poorly overall is how you make it through a tough season.

Marcus Smart Is Central to Boston’s Success

There are few smaller players in the NBA that you could call absolute defensive bulldogs.

The Toronto Raptors have Kyle Lowry, the LA Clippers have Patrick Beverly, and just as tough as those the Boston Celtics have Marcus Smart.

Considering the Boston Celtics are sorely lacking in frontcourt depth, Marcus Smart has somehow found his way into the paint.

“I consider myself a stretch 6,” said Smart who produced eight points, five boards, and four assists in a win over the Cavaliers.

Smart is one of the few players that can guard every position, regardless of size. While he won’t log full-time minutes at the center, Brad Stevens can trust Smart on any switch or rotation.

Tatum and Walker may be the stars, but Smart is with them in their list of most important players.

A Surprising Hero

When Kemba Walker left for the green streets of Boston, not many were able to pinpoint who the new star of the Hornets would be. Terry Rozier was expected to lead an offensively egalitarian side, who would have to scrape for victories. Instead, an unexpected star has risen in center Cody Zeller.

Zeller has always been one of the best pick and roll players in the league. His size and athleticism are a massive benefit, as evidenced by his fantastic two-man play with Walker.

However Zeller has taken a larger role as not just screener, but as a high-post distributor and reliable mid-range option. Did we mention that he is averaging a double-double over the first six games? Zeller has been fantastic.

Charlotte Hornets Roster Notes

(F) Nicolas Batum – 24 Oct 2019 – Out (Middle Finger) – Batum is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a fractured middle finger, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

(F) PJ Washington – 5 Nov 2019 – Day To Day (Leg Contusion) – Washington is day-to-day with a leg contusion.

Boston Celtics Roster Notes

(G) Jaylen Brown – 4 Nov 2019 – Out (Illness) – Brown was listed as OUT for Tuesday’s (Nov. 5) game.

(F) Robert Williams – 4 Nov 2019 – Day To Day (Left Hip) – Williams was listed as probable for Tuesday’s (Nov. 5) game against Chicago.

X-Factors: (G) Kemba Walker vs (G) Terry Rozier

There was no other place to look in this matchup between the Charlotte Hornets and the Boston Celtics.

With contracts coming up, both teams chose to forsake their club servants and essentially swap point guards in an effort to improve their sides. They will surely have extra motivation going into this match.

(G) Kemba Walker (6-0, 172lb (183cm, 78kg) | UConn | 8 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 29 CHA 6 34.7 26.0 5.7 3.7 .404 .426

Kemba Walker certainly didn’t wait at the starting line for the rest of the NBA to catch up. Walker is off to a scorching start, averaging 26 points per game but scoring at an incredibly efficient rate from deep.

Walker’s playmaking is also underrated in Steven’s schemes. While he is not racking up assist numbers, his ability to draw the defence for the kick is just as important – as if a second assist in hockey. Walker’s homecoming is sure to be thrilling.

(G) Terry Rozier (6-1, 190lb (185cm, 86kg) | Louisville | 4 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 25 CHA 7 32.7 16.9 4.1 5.6 .418 .357

The Hornets couldn’t cut it with a ball-dominant scoring guard in Walker, so they went a different route and picked up a defensive-minded point guard who’s not too bad of a scorer himself.

Rozier doesn’t fill up the box score, but he adds a welcome balance to the Hornets’ play. He is scoring and distributing at a career rate, and is opening up the floor to help his teammates succeed.

Boston Celtics at Charlotte Hornets – Predictions

Why the Boston Celtics Will Win

The Boston Celtics have the offensive firepower to overwhelm the Charlotte Hornets.

Should they be able to convert on the chances they create, and not get bogged down in isolation play, the Celtics can come away with a victory.

Why the Charlotte Hornets Will Win

The Charlotte Hornets own one of the worst defenses in the NBA.

Luckily they have the advantage in the paint over the Celtics. If the Hornets can dominate inside with easy baskets and shore up their defense against the small Celtics, they could steal a win from the Eastern Conference leaders.

Boston Celtics vs Charlotte Hornets – Game Odds

The latest odds for the Celtics vs Hornets are provided by bet365 NJ, DraftKings, and Caesars NJ.

Good Luck!

Money Line

Sportsbook Celtics Hornets
bet365 NJ -275 +225
DraftKings -250 +205
Caesars NJ -265 +225

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