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Wizards vs Hornets preview: Washington looks to end three-game losing skid at home

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Tuesday, April 4th at 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App

Injury Report

Wizards: None

Hornets: Ramon Sessions (Out: American foulbrood, caused by the spore-forming Paenibacillus larvae), Johnny O’Bryant (Out: stung)

What to watch for

These bees are on fiiirrreeeeeee...

The Hornets have been on a bit of a tear lately, winning seven of their last nine games after an extended rough patch from January through March in which Charlotte fell out of the playoff race.

That collapse was difficult to explain, but one of the most likely culprits was a series of injuries to seven-foot-tall saltine cracker Cody Zeller. Zeller’s screening ability (read: sly illegal movements) and defensive awareness are crucial to making the Hornets tick. No other center on the Charlotte roster has skills similar to Zeller’s, which is why having him is so important to the starting lineup.

Since he’s gotten back to full health, the Hornets have started to stir up some playoff buzz. Charlotte currently sits just one game behind the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers for the Eastern Conference’s eighth playoff spot.

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Marco Belinelli

NBA: Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Belinelli’s spurtability and shooting touch make him a good candidate for your Wizards killer of the evening. What sets him apart from a similar shooting threat such as Frank Kaminsky is his demonstrated proficiency in annoying the Wizards.

This season, Belinelli has averaged 15.0 points per game in his three contests against Washington. That’s tied for his second-highest average against one team in the league. Additionally, Belinelli averages the highest usage rate of his career (21.8 percent) when he plays the Wizards. Something about seeing the red, white and blue makes this feisty Italian want to shoot the basketball.