The banged up Charlotte Hornets will be getting a big boost on Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers, as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be in uniform.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is expected to make his season debut for the Hornets on Friday, and his return couldn’t have come at a better time with the Hornets’ roster being extremely banged up. Kidd-Gilchrist suffered a shoulder injury in October which required surgery, and many doubted whether or not he would even to be able to play at all this season.
The former second overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft is certainly not a star, but he is a lockdown defender on the wing with his size and strength.
In three seasons, Kidd-Gilchrist has averaged 9.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. While Kidd-Gilchrist is an elite defender in the NBA, scoring the basketball has been, and likely will continue to be an area of weakness. In his career, he is shooting 46.4% from the field but has no ability to knock down three-pointers, as he has only taken 18 attempts in 195 games played.
The Hornets will be heading into Portland with a 22-24 record, which places them ninth in the Eastern Conference, but winning games on the road has been an extremely difficult thing for Charlotte, as they are 6-16.
The addition of Kidd-Gilchrist should help a defense that ranks in the middle of the road, allowing 101.6 points per game. When Kidd-Gilchrist has his legs back underneath him, look for the Hornets to once again become a good defense like in years past.