What’s wrong with the Charlotte Hornets? There are no explanations for the results they have shown this season. If the playoffs were to start today, the Hornets would be on the outside looking in and that’s in the Eastern Conference. The talk of the offseason focused on the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers thanks to big trades. However, the Hornets made a huge move as well with the addition of Dwight Howard.
So far, the tandem of Howard and Kemba Walker has failed to yield the results fans and the organization had hoped for. But why?
With all due respect to the Cavs, Celtics, Washington Wizards, and Toronto Raptors, the Hornets might just be the most complete team in the East. Walker averages 21.3 points, 5.8 assists while shooting 42 percent from the floor. His backcourt mate, Nicholas Batum averages 10.4 points while shooting 41 percent. The frontcourt is manned by Marvin Williams (9.1 points, 4.6 rebounds), Howard (15.6 points, 12.1 rebounds), and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (10 points, 5 rebounds).
Looking at their numbers, you can see the balance on paper, however, such talent has not equaled to wins on the court. There has to be a reason for this. The issue is, there’s no excuse. The Cavs have won 26 games with no real point guard play and with Kevin Love playing out of position. The Celtics have been without Gordon Hayward but they lead the East with 34 wins. The Raptors have no real presence in the post, yet they have managed to win 29 games. The Hornets are better than this.
Walker is an offensive beast, Howard is still one of the top defensive centers in the NBA and Batum and Jeremy Lamb (14.4 points, 4.6 rebounds) have proven in the past how dangerous from the perimeter they can be. It would seem that all the pieces are there for a deep playoff run but that hasn’t been the case. While the Charlotte Hornets are one of the best defensive teams in the league, it’s on the offensive end of the floor where their problems exist. Why is Batum struggling from the perimeter? Batum is shooting just 28 percent from three-point territory. The Hornets starting unit averages 17 three-pointers per game, however, they only connect on five.
Can this be fixed or will Michael Jordan be forced to break this team up before the NBA trade deadline? There are rumors according to Hoops Hype that the Hornets could move Kemba Walker and while that may have been a stretch just a season ago, the Hornets cannot find the right chemistry to pair with their high-scoring point guard.
The good news for the Charlotte Hornets moving forward is that there is still time to turn things around. The Hornets are only five games out of the 8th spot and with the trade deadline just a month away, a move or two could me make that could change their misfortune.