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Houston Rockets vs. Charlotte Hornets game preview

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Houston Rockets Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

It’s fun how quickly things can change in the NBA.

Sure, if your team is winning games (like say, at Oracle) and generally playing well, you’re excited and ready to talk about their chances at the title with Chris Paul playing like the Point God. Likewise, if your team is playing poorly (and loses to say, the Lakers), you’re ready to call them pretenders and wondering how to trade Chris Paul.

The NBA season keeps moving and there’s barely time to remember the bad losses or the good wins, even for fans. Of course, the losses stick harder than the wins for most fans. The Rockets won 65 games last season and had the best record in the NBA. Yet I still remember the 5-game losing streak in December, or the loss in Toronto where literally no one wanted to help James Harden.

This season has had plenty of low points. There’s been probably 20 games where Houston has blown big leads, with most leading to losses. There’s two home losses to New Orleans and losing to Cleveland, too. When Daryl Morey and the front office look to improve this summer, they can find some solace in the fact that they’re unlikely to be as unlucky as they were this season. Plus, opponents are unlikely to get up for Rockets games coming off a down year as they have done this season.

Well, that’s enough rambling.

The Charlotte Hornets are 28-32 and sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Tonight is the last game of a four-game homestand for the Hornets, and they are 1-2 so far with losses to the Nets and Warriors. In an odd twist, the Hornets lead the Southeast Division. As of this writing, all five teams in the division are currently on losing streaks. Have I mentioned how much I wish the Rockets played in the East? Then again, Houston is 3-3 against the Southeast Division so maybe that wouldn’t be a great idea.

Kemba Walker was a deserving All-Star for the Hornets this season and he’ll be a free agent this summer. It will be interesting to see how teams treat him. It’s obvious that he’s a star player in the league, but you win if he’s your best player? The answer so far is “no.” Can you win if he’s your second-best player? The answer there is unknown, since Charlotte has never really put him with another star. It will be fascinating to see what he decides.

Charlotte also has Cody Zeller (a personal favorite) and Nicolas Batum, who’s burned Houston in the past. Miles Bridges has been a fun rookie for them but he needs to round out his game. Marvin Williams will likely miss the game tonight with a toe strain.

Jeremy Lamb and Tony Parker come off the bench as guards, with Bismack Biyombo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the bench forwards.

This is a game

Tip-off is at 6pm CT