There’s one thing that I will never get used to. I’ve been a Hornets fan since the inception of the Hornets team back in 1988. You know, back then, the team could get slaughtered every night and there would be a sellout crowd. That was just one of the many things that made our Hornets special. Through many seasons of very good luck (the ability to draft Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning in back-to-back seasons just being one of them), the Hornets saw much playoff success.
Things just are not what they used to be. The Hornets started this season off as one of the hottest teams in the NBA. They started off with an 8-3 record and everyone believed that they were “Championship bound”. Through that start, we had Roy Hibbert with knee soreness, Jeremy Lamb with a strained hamstring, and most recently, Cody Zeller with a shoulder strain after playing one of the best games of his career. While Cody was out, the losing streak began. It was losing what we all expected to be our starting center. Roy Hibbert also was still dealing with soreness in his knee. So the losses began. First the Pelicans in a game that was very winnable but we saw a big lead disappear and an overtime loss. Then came the Grizzlies. Memphis came in to TWC arena and completely knocked the block off our shoulder. Follow that up with a Spurs game where we should have come away with a victory, but a series of bad plays down the stretch, lack of defense, and a little help from the officials, we fall in a close game to a really good team. Again, there was no Cody and others that were limited in minutes. Let’s take another step further. Last night we played the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. We were able to play one full half of basketball with everyone healthy and available. By the half, Marvin was out with a hyper-extended knee. That’s lump number 1. We blow a double-digit lead…again…lump number 2. What is the final blow? Nic Batum took a hit to the eye and has a corneal abrasion and is questionable for tonight’s game.
Did I mention that we couldn’t hit foul shots! You know, those free shots that no one guards you and the clock doesn’t move while you take them? We couldn’t make them. The guys are professionals and are missing free throws. How bad was it? We were 17 of 27 from the line. That’s a horrid 63%. We left 10 points on the line. If we could have made 5 of those 10, it’s a respectable number and we come home last night with a win, breaking the losing streak. Instead, we go to overtime, we’re in the game to the end, and then after Carmelo Anthony takes a shot to put them up 2, we take a horrible corner shot that gets partially blocked. (Some may say that Rose fouled Kemba, but I really don’t care to argue it. The refs don’t help, but we shouldn’t have blown the lead or missed so many foul shots.)
Bottom line is that the Hornets started strong against some OK teams, and with injuries and a rigorous schedule here early in the season, we’re losing some games. A game tonight with no Marv, and possibly no Batum could spell loss #5 in a row for us. The sky is NOT falling, so calm down.
This isn’t specifically what has triggered today’s article. I wasn’t planning on writing a game recap. I did the best I could over the past 5 seasons, cranking out articles about the players, about the “what-ifs”, about game scenarios, and even articles where I got to actually interview a player (this one may be a thing of the past). So what triggered today? It actually started a game or so ago on Twitter. It all began with “so-called” fans wanting to fire the coach, to trade players, and just overall bad-mouthing the team.
Do you guys know about the aforementioned injuries? Do you know about the strength of the teams we have played this season? Do you know that there are 6 new players on the roster this season, again? Do you know what team chemistry is? Do you understand that real life is not the same as trades on NBA2K16?
I fear that you don’t. I fear that you have no clue what you’re saying when you speak. I pride myself on my site being a voice for the fans to the organization as well as a voice for an organization to the fans. The latter of the 2 has faded a bit this season. I don’t feel like the organization is allowing me as much access as in years past, but Cho said that there would be more opportunities, so I will continue to wait. In the meantime, I am going to be the voice of reason for the team to the fans that actually read my site and my articles.
Let’s start with the most recent comments that I have seen.
- Why would the organization trade Frank Kaminsky? Yes, I’ve seen this suggestion. The guy is in his second year in the NBA. It is very evident that he is working hard and improving. Does he have shortcomings still? Yes he does. Is he an NBA sophomore? Yes he is. He’s learning and improving. He has some sweet post moves that aren’t quite working yet, but they are there. He has range on some nights and he has great movement for a 7-footer. Let the kid continue to work and improve.
- Why would the organization trade Spencer Hawes? Hawes is an excellent passing center that has shooting range and a pretty decent game in the post. Again, why give up a player like Hawes? Do we have a stockpile of seasoned centers on the team that I don’t know about? I’m pretty sure we don’t.
- Trade Jeremy Lamb. This one…well…he was hurt last year and he’s worked hard this off-season to try to improve his game. This is probably the one guy that when someone says, “trade him”, if the return is a solid one, I would agree with.
- Trade Ramon Sessions. That’s an interesting suggestion other than that puts Brian Roberts as our backup point guard. I believe that Roberts could be a respectable 3rd option, but I really don’t want to see Roberts playing 17+ minutes per night. Oh, by the way, Sessions is averaging 17.6 minutes per game.
- I saved the best one for last. Trade Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for Rudy Gay. That’s right. Let’s trade our 23-year-old small forward that is locked in for the next 3 seasons at $13 million per season and could possibly be considered as the motor and drive of the team for a 30-year-old player that makes $13 this season and $14 next season. That basically means that in 2 years, we have a hole at small forward, unless we want to keep the 33 year old. Could Gay provide a scoring punch for us? Maybe. Would we take a hit on defense and rebounding? Yes.
I said it earlier today (Either on Twitter or Facebook) and I’m going to say it again: the season is a month old. I don’t see a reason to hit the panic button yet. Too many fans are pounding hard on that button though. Why have my 8-3 Hornets lost 4 games in a row? It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Let Coach Clifford do his job. He’s still learning combinations with 6 new players and figuring out what works and what does not. Also, let Rich Cho do his job. The man has pulled off some amazing moves. When we were 8-3, everyone oo’ed and ahh’ed at our amazing talent and how they are locked in for several years to come, but after we’ve lost 4 games, everyone is ready to trade all of those guys away for something that is NOT the answer. Be patient my friends. This team is only going to get better. You just have to be calm and be willing to trust the organization. We aren’t the “BobJohnson”Cats. We’re the Hornets. The Jordan brand Hornets. Take a deep breath fans. If you keep panicking like this, you won’t make it through the season.
We all survived the 7-win season back in the Bobcats days, and we are miles better than that team. Just don’t freak out over a losing streak, what comes up must come down. Whether it is the Hornets record, the stock market, gas prices…you name it. We’re going to be just fine.
Let’s get everyone healthy quickly, and let’s cheer on our Hornets tonight against the Knicks. We owe them one.