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Game Thread 47: Charlotte Hornets / Portland Trail Blazers 1/29 -- MKG is good to go!

Charlotte Hornets (22-24) at Portland Trail Blazers (21-26)
Friday, January 29, 2016, 10:00pm ET
Moda Center, Portland, OR

Referees #23 Jason Phillips | #55 Bill Kennedy | #73 Tre Maddox

Damian Lillard vs Kemba Walker | Player Comparison
Al-Farouq Aminu vs Nicolas Batum | Player Comparison

Rosters and Stats Hornets | Trail Blazers | Depth Charts

Game Previews
NBA: Game Story
Charlotte Observer: Gameday: at Portland Trail Blazers
Sports Chat Place: Hornets look for consistency after splitting their last 10 games
Oregon Live: Nicolas Batum excited for 'weird' return to Portland
At The Hive: That's right, MKG upgraded to Questionable
​Blazer's Edge: Is the Trail Blazers' ball movement stagnating?
Comcast Sportsnet: Roundtable: How should Blazer fans receive Nic Batum?
Rip City Project: Where is Noah Vonleh's ceiling?
Today's Fastbreak: Troy Daniels is rising to the occasion
Oregon Live: Video: Nicolas Batum unsure of how Rip City will welcome him back
​At The Hive: Roundtable: Should the Hornets make a trade?
CBS Sports: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's return to Hornets couldn't come soon enough, with video
​Hoops Habit: Troy Daniels shoots his way into the rotation
A The Hive: Hornets at Trail Blazers: preview
Swarm & Sting: Hornets face off against Trail Blazers in Nic Batum's return to Portland
Hornets: Latest Buzz: Free Basketball
Oregon Live: Blazers vs Hornets: projected lineups, game preview
TrailBlazers: Homestand continues as Batum returns to Rip City
Blazers Edge: How are Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum coming along defensively?
Blazers Edge: Trailblazers vs Hornets preview
​Rip City Project: What does the future hold for Trail Blazers' power forward Meyers Leonard?
At The Hive: Searching for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's partner on the wing
The Morning Call: 5 reasons why C.J. McCollum has become an NBA star
The Mount Airy News: Charlotte's red-headed stepchild

Latest Tweets

Hornets | Hornets PR | Rick Bonnell | James Plowright | Hoops Hype Charlotte
Trail Blazers | Trail Blazers PR | Joe Freeman | Mike Richman | Jason Quick | Casey Holdahl | Hoops Hype Portland

Wednesday's Game: Hornets 73, Jazz 102

Last Meeting with Portland: Trail Blazers 94, Hornets 106
November 15, 2015 at Time Warner Cable Arena – Friday marks the second and final regular season matchup between the Trail Blazers and Hornets in 2015-16. Charlotte defeated Portland, 106-94, earlier this season at home. Former Trail Blazer Nicolas Batum scored 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting (5-10 3-PT). Despite the loss in Charlotte earlier this season, Portland is 10-3 over its past 13 games against the Hornets. The Trail Blazers have won seven consecutive home games against the Hornets (2008-09 to 2014-15). A win for Charlotte would mark its first season sweep over Portland since 2007-08. The Hornets haven’t won consecutive games against the Trail Blazers at any point since their season sweep in 2007-08. Damian Lillard scored 23 points against Charlotte on Nov. 15, and has now scored at least 20 points in each of his seven career games against the Hornets. The Trail Blazers outscored the Hornets by 14 points in the second half of their 106-94 loss. Lillard led Portland with 25.5 points on 20-of-38 shooting (9-16 3-PT) in two games against the Hornets last season. The Trail Blazers are fifth in the NBA with 45.9 rebounds per game, while the Hornets are tied for 12th with 43.6 boards per contest. Trail Blazers forward Noah Vonleh (2014) and guard Gerald Henderson (2009-15) both played for Charlotte last season. Hornets forward Nicolas Batum spent his first seven NBA seasons with Portland, averaging 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Batum ranks third in Trail Blazers franchise history with 751 three-point field goals.

Vegas Hornets open as 5.5 point dog

Game Chat HornetsPlanet Chatroom

Broadcast TV: FOX Sports Southeast - Charlotte | RADIO: WFNZ 610 AM

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    If MKG plays today I'm predicting a win with him having 12 points, 6 boards, 1 assists, and 2 steals. 

    I've been looking forward to this game since Portland traded Nic and let my main man Wesley walk. Batum will want it badly and I'm banking on his teammates wanting it for him.

    Besides, the return of Nic + friends sounds a little better when the friends part includes MKG.



    This game boils down to the following equation:



    The best part about getting (hopefully) players back from injury is the second unit. Clifford has cobbled together a decent starting group but that has totally decimated the bench. Only Frank has remained a constant in the 2nd unit revolving door while Cody, Spencer, Lin and Lamb have all been removed through injury or 1st unit promotion. Before all the nonsense it was one of the league's best benches...and that was without an active MKG. Plus, Troy can be added more readily if/when MKG gets 2nd unit burn in Q2.


    It'll be good to finally have a reliable unit to extend leads...it's been a while.

              I feel good about this one .  If Kemba  matches up ok with Lillard   we should be ok .   I predicted  in a thread  it's over . We needed to win at least 3 of the seven games left in January to stay in contention for the playoffs  . We have now won 3 of 5 with two more winnable games left this month.  Tonight and the Lakers game. With MKG , Lamb , AL  , Lin all close to be coming back  . I think we in a good position  to make a playoff run .  

    Hawes + MKG starting would also sort out the Cody/MKG dynamics organically. If that starting unit held we could finally see Lin running the second unit with Cody PnR, Frank spacing, and Batum anchoring along with Troy, PJ, Lamb, or even Marvin.



    Mkg is playing tonight. Hell yes. Glad he's back. Will be staying up to watch now
    Great news! Can't wait to see him back in action :)
    Thanks for the info and of course my special thanks to Joe for the game thread and the huge amount of extra work he does!
    Great thing about MKGs game is we aren't expecting him to come out and set the world on fire offensively. If we did then we could be disappointed from the beginning. His fire and defense is what we need and he should be able to bring pretty quickly.
    Jan 29 2016 05:11 PM
    Damn it the one game mkg comes back I have basketball practice

    Against Portland with Cody out, Hawes starting, and both MKG and Nic active, Clifford should just cut through the chase and move Frank to 2nd unit C to take Hansbrough out of the equation. The Blazers are even more perimeter oriented than Charlotte and run plenty of PnR.


    Actually, the same applies vs. the Lakers in the next game. They try to post-up but completely suck at it.





    Clifford said the doctors are being cautious with Zeller, even with lifting the ball above his shoulder. Said he's still a ways off.

    QC Thundercats
    Jan 29 2016 07:10 PM

    Damn it the one game mkg comes back I have basketball practice


    You have basketball practice at 10? Tough coach.



    Clifford said the doctors are being cautious with Zeller, even with lifting the ball above his shoulder. Said he's still a ways off.


    Sounds like the same thing last year when Cody first strained his shoulder.  Was only supposed to be out a week, ended up missing the whole season with a tear.

    Jan 29 2016 08:59 PM

    Clifford said the doctors are being cautious with Zeller, even with lifting the ball above his shoulder. Said he's still a ways off.

    Yeah, if he raises his arm too fast his other ball might drop.  That would be terrible. 

    My wife grew up in Portland and even she's like t minus 30 on the MKG rebirth. Plus, the weirdos at Vulcan.....
    MKGOAT!! Can't wait!
    For some reason CJ is struggling.
    Jan 29 2016 10:23 PM

    MKG looking good already making a nice contribution

    MKG, Marvin, and Nic sit early leaving everything on the table for the second unit.

    Seeing MKG made my crap week at work fade away. So nice to see him back. 

    Jan 29 2016 10:32 PM

    Damien Lillard just took a dump on us.

    Daniels hitting them from long range again!

    That Lillard dunk was insane 💀