Charlotte Hornets Report - Week of December 9th-December 15th
Last 3 Games
vs. New Orleans Pelicans: L, 109-119
- @ Minnesota Timberwolves: L, 104-121
- vs. Denver Nuggets: W, 113-107
It looks like the Hornets are just going to trudge around .500 all year long. The squad is currently sitting at 12-13, but are currently a game above the playoffs cut line and a ½ game ahead in the Southeast Division. They came away with one win in last week’s slate of games, which considering the difficulty of the games, is not all bad. They were simply outplayed in the first two games, but walked away with a huge win against the Nuggets. The Hornets seem to compete in games against a solid opponent, but lose bad games against bad opponents. Not that these teams were bad, but moving forward the Hornets simply cannot lose bad games. The bench is playing a lot better than they were a couple weeks ago, but they still obviously have things to still figure out as far as having the best lineups on the court.
Next 4 Games
- @ New York Knicks: Sunday, December 9th
- vs. Detroit Pistons: Wednesday, December 12th
- vs. New York Knicks: Friday, December 14th
- vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Saturday, December 15th
Their first opponent for this slate of games is against the New York Knicks, who are currently 12thin the Eastern Conference. They play this team twice this week and these are two must-win games. The Knicks are just not a good team and if the Hornets keep losing to opponents of this caliber, they will not make the playoffs. The Knicks are the 4th worst in the NBA in Opponent FG % allowed and tied for 2nd worst in Opponent 3PFG % allowed. The key to a Hornets victory is to utilize those weaknesses. Simply put, but it’s always easier said, than done. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter have been the rocks that the Knicks have leaned on this season and I would look for more of the same in the two matchups this week.
The game against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday is another tough test for the Hornets. They’re a noteworthy conference foe with a strong big man attack. The team is led by Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond and both are off to great starts to the year. Griffin is averaging 25.2 PPG this season, which is a career high for him, and Andre Drummond is a double-double machine like usual, but he also is scoring at a career best this season. The Pistons are currently just 2 games ahead of the Hornets in the Conference race, but don’t let their record fool you, this team is better than advertised. These two teams have already met this season on November 11th. The Hornets won the game in Detroit thanks to 24 points off the bench by the ageless Tony Parker. The Pistons are a solid defensive team, but the Hornets need to make sure that they do not get off good shots, the Pistons are the worst shooting team in basketball. It helps this game is at home, but it isn’t going to be an exceptionally easy game.
Possibly the most anticipated game of the season for Hornets fans every year is when LeBron comes to town. Maybe I’m just speaking for Hornets fans, but when he does come around, it creates quite a buzz, pun fully intended. LeBron is in his 16thseason and is arguably the best he has ever been in his career. The Lake Show is the LeBron show now, as he is leading the Lakers in nearly every statistical category. It still doesn’t seem right seeing him in a Lakers jersey, but he is and King James is still playing elite basketball. If you get a chance to go to this game, you definitely don’t want to miss it. Whether you like LeBron or not, he is one of the game’s all-time greats, and getting the opportunity to watch him play in the prime of his career is bucket list worthy. Word of advice though, don’t pay attention to the ticket prices if you haven’t bought tickets yet.
*December 14th Home game against the Knicks is Muggsy Bouges Bobblehead night. The First 10,000 in attendance will receive one, so make sure to get to the game early.