Bridges was suspended for the first 10 games following an investigation into a domestic violence incident — which caused him to miss all of last year. There have been separate allegations since, resulting in Bridges turning himself in to police.
Nonetheless, he signed a one-year deal in the offseason and has been preparing to play since.
“I think he’ll be ready to play. He’s in practice every day,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told reporters. “So, he’s been well organized when he’s there. He’s in really good shape. He’s worked hard. I’ll be honest, we’ve been playing every other day… But he will have a significant role right away.”
On the court, Bridges put together a career year in 2021-22, averaging 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists. All were career highs.
- Rookie forward Brandon Miller was forced to exit Sunday’s road loss to the Knicks with a tweaked ankle, though Clifford suggested it’s not anything serious. “It’ll be, I think, more day to day,” Clifford said.
The Knicks shot a season-high 54 percent from the field in their 129-107 win over the Hornets on Sunday, when they also scored a season-high in points.
So don’t look now, but New York has won three straight.
“We’re playing better basketball,” power forward Julius Randle told reporters. “It’s still super-early in the season, so we’ve got to keep building to where we want to be at.”
- Coach Tom Thibodeau praised the entire effort. “We had a number of guys who made very unselfish plays and then we got going defensively a little bit,” he said. “And that got us some easy scoring opportunities, and we need those.”
- Forward Kristaps Porzingis indicated he felt fine after playing in back-to-back games, via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “Honestly, I didn’t start the season in perfect shape. I think now I’m starting to feel the way I need to feel, and I’m still going to improve,” Prozingis said. “Rhythm, feel, shot, everything is still going to get much better.”
- Forward Sam Hauser has rebounded nicely when it comes to his 3-point shooting. He went just 3-of-15 in October, but is 21-of-38 from deep since. “It’s kind of my job,” Hauser said, via Souichi Terada of MassLive. “It’s nothing crazy. Obviously it’s nice to see more go through than miss, so I’m really happy with that. But yeah, it’s my job, so I always have to be ready to make some shots.”