Player News - Hornets

Date: Team: Pos:

Nicolas Batum was everywhere during a 108-104 win over the Wizards on Saturday, scoring 26 points with 11 rebounds, nine assists, one steal, one block, three 3-pointers and six turnovers in 44 minutes.

Yeah, that toe issue looks like it's behind him. Batum was the focal point of the offense and coach Steve Clifford allows him to read the defense to create the flow. He's coming off a 21-point gem on Friday, so his owners can obviously take their finger away from the panic button after a couple weeks of worry. Expect him to be an early-round player going forward.
Feb 6 - 9:49 PM

Cody Zeller scored eight points with nine rebounds, one assist and three steals in 30 minutes against the Wizards on Saturday.

The scoring numbers won't be there for Zeller, but he should be able to be a top-100 player in standard leagues or in that neighborhood at least until Al Jefferson (knee) gets back. He was putting up top-50 value for over a month's time to close 2015, so he is worth owning in standard leagues despite the slow start since returning from a shoulder injury.
Feb 6 - 9:43 PM

Kemba Walker scored 23 points with five rebounds, five assists, one steal and four 3-pointers against the Wizards on Saturday.

He did look hobbled momentarily in the second half, but there was no sign of him receiving medical attention. Walker is back in the swing of things in no time after getting his knee drained on Wednesday with a 20-point game coming on Friday. Expect him to maintain his status as a top-25 player going forward.
Feb 6 - 9:40 PM

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored nine points with no rebounds, two assists, one steal and two turnovers in 27 minutes against the Wizards on Saturday.

He actually lost some minutes to Jeremy Lin tonight with the Hornets playing Nicolas Batum at the three down the stretch. Kidd-Gilchrist also attempted two 3-pointers tonight, so his five attempts in five games are a surprise after not taking any last year -- he's made two. MKG is more of a late-round guy.
Feb 6 - 9:37 PM

Kemba Walker had his left knee drained on Wednesday.

He sat out of Wednesday's game vs. the Cavaliers due to the procedure, but he returned on Friday vs. the Heat and looked great, scoring 20 points in 36 minutes. Walker's knee issue doesn't appear to be too serious, but it's something to keep an eye on if the Hornets fall out of the playoff hunt.
Feb 6 - 10:35 AM

Marvin Williams scored 27 points against the Heat on Friday during a 98-95 loss with four rebounds, two assists, one block and two 3-pointers.

His contract-year game is quite strong and the stretch four being en vogue looks great for him. Williams has put to bed any concern of Frank Kaminsky taking his minutes and the return of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has helped him. Marvin has second-round value in his last eight games.
Feb 5 - 11:03 PM

Frank Kaminsky did not score in 16 minutes with three rebounds, three assists and two turnovers in 16 minutes against the Heat on Friday.

He's lost all his momentum as Marvin Williams is running away with the power forward minutes. Plus, Marvin plays all his minutes at power forward now because of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist being back, so there is little opportunity for Frank. If you haven't already, drop him.
Feb 5 - 11:00 PM

Kemba Walker scored 20 points against the Heat on Friday with five rebounds, six assists, two steals and four 3-pointers.

He played 36 minutes and there were no signs of limitations. Walker's knee injury is more of the wear-and-tear variety, so he probably just needs to make it to the break unscathed to get close to 100 percent. He sitting pretty as a top-20 player this season.
Feb 5 - 10:57 PM

Nicolas Batum scored 21 points with six rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and four 3-pointers against the Heat on Friday.

This is the Batum we grew to love back in November. Hopefully his toe injury is behind him and he can go back to being a guy capable of putting up top-30 value. Batum could be on his way after tonight.
Feb 5 - 10:55 PM

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored nine points with three rebounds, one assist and one block in 30 minutes against the Heat on Friday.

The Heat are very good at keeping guys out of the paint and they are the first team to do so with MKG this season. Kidd-Gilchrist is still going to be worth owning, but his owners may want to temper expectations from his terrific start.
Feb 5 - 10:52 PM

Jeremy Lin played 16 minutes against the Heat on Friday with six points, two rebounds, three assists and one block.

He played 12 minutes at point guard and four at shooting guard. Now that the starters are 100 percent, Lin is definitely a cut candidate in most leagues.
Feb 5 - 10:49 PM

Kemba Walker (knee) will start without any limitations vs. the Heat on Friday.

Walker's return sends Jeremy Lin to the bench, where Lin is averaging 10 fewer minutes with lower stats across the board. Kemba's owners can breathe a sigh of relief while activating him in all lineups.
Feb 5 - 5:24 PM

Kemba Walker (knee) said that he expects to play on Friday vs. the Heat.

Walker said on Thursday that the soreness in his knee is better, and it should be comforting for his owners to know that an MRI came back clean. Walker shouldn't be too limited if he's cleared to play, so fire him up in all lineups. Jeremy Lin is expected to return to the bench where his value will take a sizable hit.
Feb 5 - 11:24 AM

Jeremy Lin is likely to move back to the bench on Friday against the Heat.

This will get interesting. While Kemba Walker was healthy, Lin played almost 100 percent of his minutes at shooting guard. When Kemba was out, he played almost all of his minutes at point guard because Nicolas Batum was back. Now that those two and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are all likely to be back, expect his minutes to take a hit. His owners might be on notice once Walker is announced as a starter.
Feb 4 - 10:39 PM

Kemba Walker (knee) practiced on Thursday and is expecting to play against the Heat on Friday.

He said the soreness in his knee is better, which has been bothering him for over a week -- that means it wasn't because of his fall in Portland on Saturday. Walker also had an MRI and that came back clean. For now, expect him to be in the lineup on Friday. The Hornets are awesome with updates, so expect more info Friday morning.
Feb 4 - 10:33 PM


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