Sam Sharpe/USA Today Sports

Charlotte Hornets welcome winless 76ers to the Queen City

Charlotte has the opportunity to go over .500 for the first time since last season's home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks

Charlotte has a chance on Friday to climb over .500 for the first time the season and it’s as good of an opportunity as the Hornets could hope. 

With a 4-1 record at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte welcomes winless Philadelphia to Buzz City in the second contest of a seven-game homestand. The 76ers are the only team in the NBA that has yet to taste victory this season.

The Hornets held off Brooklyn on Wednesday after trailing at halftime. The win over the Nets moved Charlotte to .500 for the third time this season. The teal and purple are 0-3 this year in games where a victory meant a winning record.

P.J. Hairston is out for the game Friday and Cody Zeller is listed as questionable. Zeller was given the start at forward on Wednesday when Hairston missed his game of the season.

In the win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Charlotte had seven players finish in double figures scoring, led by 24 points from Nicolas Batum. It was a great response from Batum, who only scored four points in a loss to New York on Tuesday after being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week the day before. The 6-foot-8 Frenchman also had a team-best eight assists against the Nets.

As awful as Philadelphia’s start to the season has been, it is truly a case of ‘Second verse, same as the first.’ The 76ers have only to look to last season to find an opening to a campaign worse than the current streak of 12 straight losses. Philly needed 18 games to get its first win last season.

The policy of playing for the future is evident in Philadelphia but it has not paid immediate dividends in terms of victories.

The Sixers appear to have struck gold with its top pick in the 2015 draft. After winning a national title at Duke last season, Jahlil Okafor was available at the third overall pick and Philly jumped at the chance to get the 7-foot center. Okafor is averaging 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks after the first 12 games of his professional career.

 

Charlotte Hornets Projected Starters

Position

Player

Height

PPG

G

Kemba Walker

6-1

16.5

G

Nicolas Batum

6-8

17.1

F

Marvin Williams

6-9

10.0

F

Cody Zeller

7-0

6.4

C

Al Jefferson

6-10

14.3

Philadelphia 76ers Projected Starters

Position

Player

Height

PPG

G

T.J. McConnell

6-2

7.3

G

Nik Stauskas

6-6

9.5

F

Jerami Grant

6-8

10.4

F

Nerlens Noel

6-11

10.6

C

Jahlil Okafor

7-0

18.8