The thoughts of the Charlotte Hornets will turn from their hosting of the NBA All-Star game to the remainder of the regular season when they return to the court later in the week.
Charlotte, 150/1 to win the NBA Championship, entered the All-Star break with a half-game lead over the Miami Heat in the Southeast Division.
Despite a 27-30 record, the Hornets are the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and may fancy their chances of making the playoffs given that the Heat, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks are all struggling this season. In every other Division at least the top two teams have a record over .500. Charlotte's one saving grace is a strong, relatively speaking, home record of 19-9 that offsets an abysmal 8-21 mark on the road.
The Hornets are back in action on Friday when the Wizards are the visitors to the Spectrum Center. The Brooklyn Nets, the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets all follow. Charlotte will play seven of their first eight games at home after the break. It's a streak that could well make or break the Hornets' season.
Meanwhile, in Orlando, the Magic have put together their first significant winning streak of the season. They entered the All-Star break as the winners of five straight over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Hawks, the New Orleans Pelicans and the Hornets. The Magic entertain the Chicago Bulls on Friday before heading north to face the Toronto Raptors over the weekend.
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