The Charlotte Hornets are floundering in the Eastern Conference playoff race, losers of three consecutive games. So the news that defensive ace Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could miss at least a week isn’t good at all:
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) March 28, 2015
Kidd-Gilchrist sprained his left ankle in Friday night’s double-overtime loss to the Washington Wizards. The Hornets are currently 30-41, 1½ games behind the eighth-seeded Boston Celtics. The Brooklyn Nets and Indiana Pacers are ninth and 10th in the standings.
Kidd-Gilchrist has had a strong season with Charlotte, averaging 10.9 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 46.5 percent from the field. As mentioned, his specialty is defense, as the Hornets are at their stingiest on defense when he’s on the floor. Charlotte has given up 96.3 points per 100 possessions with Gilchrist on the court, per NBA.com. That mark is 103.7 when he’s on the bench.
The Hornets are hosting the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night, and Jeff Taylor is getting the start in Kidd-Gilchrist’s place. Charlotte is catching a bit of a break against top-seeded Atlanta, because the Hawks are resting their starters after clinching the No. 1 seed on Friday night.