The Charlotte Hornets are not a team that keeps anyone up at night. They have some good players -- Kemba Walker and Nic Batum chief among them -- but they haven't quite put it all together as a team. Case in point: they're 1-9 over their last ten games and have currently lost three in a row. According to Vice's Michael Pina, they are the most hopeless team in the league -- which, I mean, wow. To be in a worse state emotionally than the Raptors right now takes some doing.
Things in Toronto have been pretty grim as of late. The Raptors are a below .500 team in the new year and have lost 11 of their last 15. Kyle Lowry was just grousing about something needing to change. Everyone was upset. But then, lo and behold, a smile brighter than a thousand suns: Serge Ibaka!
We have liftoff! pic.twitter.com/8GOhKIgBa7— Daniel Reynolds (@aka_Reynolds) February 15, 2017
That's all anyone wants to talk about right now. Even though, as announced by coach Dwane Casey before the game, both he and Patrick Patterson will not be playing. We may be in for a rough game tonight, even with all the good vibes.
Before the game Ibaka addressed the media, touching on his relationship with Masai Ujiri, his existing relationship with Raptors assistant Rex Kalamian, some parting words from Bismack Biyombo, his excitement over a new start in Toronto, and the words we're all looking to hear from any new player: "You don't have to learn to play hard."
Get up to speed with tonight's Hornets matchup with the preview here from Stephen Campbell and then let's get ready. Serge in the house!