The Hornets will begin life without Kemba Walker when they host the Bulls in their first NBA game of the season on 23rd October 2019 at 23:00 UTC.
Walker was drafted by Charlotte in 2011 when he stepped out of the University of Connecticut. Since then the point guard has only played for one franchise, before moving to the Boston Celtics this summer. Walker led the Hornets to the playoffs twice in that time. In recent years, they were relying solely on him to achieve their season goals. Poor contract management and drafting meant that Charlotte had no other reliable player to turn to.
When Kyrie Irving left Boston, Walker wasted no time in filling that spot. In exchange, the Hornets got Terry Rozier, who should be the starting point guard this season. He has big shoes to fill, as Walker was beloved in the community as well. Rozier has started just 30 games in his career so far, as he played second fiddle to Irving for the most part in Boston. He started two seasons ago in the playoffs due to Irving’s injury, where he showed promise.
Dwayne Bacon should also slot into the lineup after he impressed in the last few games of the season. He was selected as the 40th pick of the 2017 draft, but he has made great leaps since then. Hornets don’t have many options in that position, and that could prove to be a blessing in disguise. Miles Bridges is another young player who can take the next step. After one season of experience, the only way is up for the second-year player.
As for the Bulls, they will continue their rebuild. The past two seasons have been poor for Chicago, and they have resorted to tanking in each of those campaigns. Last season injuries and coaching changes were also factors in the side’s poor performances. The squad is filled with promising players, but neither one of them have looked like performing consistently.
Zach LaVine came over from Minnesota in 2017 as a part of the Jimmy Butler trade. He was seen as a young player on the cusp of reaching the next stage in his career. Injuries hampered LaVine’s first season in Chicago as he played just 24 games. Last season he played 63 and averaged 23.7 points per game. He can be best described as a volume shooter, and he needs to work on his defensive game.
Lauri Markkanen was drafted in 2017, and he is also in Chicago as a result of the Butler trade. He has failed to stay healthy consistently, but when fit, he is a force to reckon with. Other players like Otto Porter Jr. and Thaddeus Young will also provide useful inputs.
Charlotte Hornets vs Chicago Bulls Betting Tips
The game will be a close one, as both sides will play with tinkered lineups. The total points should be under 226.5 in the game. Charlotte should have enough to get a narrow win. Bulls will put up a fight, but they should succumb to a loss by less than 10 points.