Matt Rochinski and Sam Perley of hornets.com will be following the Hornets throughout 2016-17 NBA season and keeping fans up to date through the Buzz Words | Hornets Notebook. Keep checking back to see what the latest is as the season unfolds.
By Sam Perley, hornets.com | Friday, April 7, 12:15 p.m.
There’s just one home game remaining for the Charlotte Hornets in the 2016-17 season as they’ll take the Spectrum Center floor for the final time this year on Saturday night against the visiting Boston Celtics. Currently sitting 3.0 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with three contests to go, Charlotte’s postseason chances are a bit of a longshot at this point. Still, the team will be looking to finish off its season on a high note in front of its hometown fans.
“I think the fans here are terrific,” said Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford after practice on Friday morning. “I go back to the old [Charlotte] Coliseum when I was [an assistant] with the New York Knicks, [Charlotte] is one of the toughest places to come and play. The players appreciate [our fans] and they make a big difference.”
The Celtics enter this game in a neck-and-neck battle with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Since the All-Star Break, Boston’s opponents have shot a league-low 31.6 percent from three-point range and 44.9 percent from the field, the latter of which is tied for the seventh-lowest mark in the NBA.
“[Boston’s] defense has given us problems in the past,” added Clifford. “Since the All-Star Break, they’re back to playing tenacious defense just like they did last year.”
In order to reach the postseason, Charlotte needs to win its remaining three games and hope that Indiana and Miami both lose out. Regardless of what happens, the Hornets will be looking to finish strong starting with their home finale against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.