You know, my mom always said that if you didn’t have anything nice to say about something, to not say anything at all. Well, considering that at the beginning of the season, I fully believed that this Hornets team was one of the top 4 teams in the East, I never thought I would have to practice any sort of silence. Even when the rookies were starting games, Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon were holding their own and all was fine. I even was pleased with the game play we were seeing without Nic Batum on the floor, and waiting for Michael Carter-Williams to be available as a backup point guard. My hopes were so high.
Now here we sit with a 10 – 19 record, Cody Zeller recovering from a torn meniscus, Julyan Stone wearing suits to games instead of being in uniform, ready to go, Frank Kaminsky playing one good game for every 5 he plays, Nic Batum…well..being Nic Batum, and just too many goofy decisions being made down the stretch that cost us games.
Let me give you an example. Last night’s game, we were down just 2 points. there was less than 24 seconds left in the game. Instead of burning that clock down and trying to get a pass inside to our double-double machine in Dwight Howard, we shoot a slight fade-away, early in the clock, from a recently-inaccurate Kemba Walker, that misses, then Jeremy Lamb launches a highly-contested 3-pointer with plenty of time on the clock where he could have passed the ball in to anyone closer to the rim for another, higher percentage shot. Maybe Lamb couldn’t see how much time was left. Maybe Kemba was just feeling that shot. Maybe, maybe, maybe…
Now, every Hornets fan is just sitting and looking at this team wondering what is going on. They want every player that plays bad traded. Honestly I look at this team and I just don’t get it. Cody to a bench role was OK, but with the torn meniscus, I can’t wait for his return. As for Nic Batum, I would just be OK seeing him come off the bench with the second unit and having Lamb start. Lamb has been more consistent this year than ever in his entire career. He’s been playing really well, and honestly, regardless of what amount of money they make, I would be starting my best 5 players on the team.
As for a backup point guard, Michael Carter-Williams is not the answer. He can officially be traded at this point. I know Kemba wanted him, but, in all reality, it is showing that at least in MCW’s case, Kemba chose poorly. So what do we do? Teams aren’t fond of taking on players that aren’t any good unless they are getting a good player with it and are able to dump a contract they no longer want. So for everyone that would mention wanting MCW, Frank, or Batum traded, keep in mind that we have to give up in order to get. It’s just the business side of things.
So what do we do? Hornets fans, “tanking” is not part of my vocabulary. I’m sorry, but it just isn’t. I don’t like playing with the goal of losing. I a looking at a team that is 29 games into the season and having only 10 wins. I am looking at NBA trade machine trying to figure out some sort of combination that would help us and another team. There is a reason that I am not an NBA GM. Trying to move what we have will not be easy. You have to look for teams that are in need. For example, a team that may have lost a player for the season and are thin at a position. I should also throw in that the team in question is struggling because of that lack of depth. I would suggest Boston, but reality is that even without Hayward, they are leading the Atlantic division. Do 2 teams in the Eastern conference help each other? I’ve never thought that was a good idea, but I guess if one team is hopeless and the other could benefit in the future from a trade, why not. The problem becomes trying to figure out which teams are truly willing to deal.
I’m not going to stir the pot down on Trade Street. I see that we are having major issues right now and I don’t know if stubbornness, pride, ignorance, or some other issues are keeping us from doing what is right. I just know that things in the Hive are broken right now and they need to be fixed. I don’t claim to have the answers, but I will always throw out a suggestion or 2. I mean what we’re doing right now isn’t working, so what would it hurt?
What if our starting 5 were Kemba, Lamb, Bacon, MKG, and Howard. I know it’s a smaller lineup, but with MKG and Howard down low, I just don’t see anyone scoring in the paint. Our second unit should be Stone, Batum, Graham, Marvin Williams, and Kaminsky. That puts 2 starters with the second unit, and hopefully would solve the lack of scoring and some of the defensive woes there. I say we hang up the attempts on MCW until he fixes whatever is going on in his head. I’m pretty sure I could make a layup in an NBA game, and I’m 5’11”, 242 lbs, and 41 years old. With luck, after the all-star break, Malik Monk will have gained the maturity to know how to not shoot every shot because the ball is in his hands, and more importantly, Cody Zeller will be back and healthy. At that point, perhaps Batum and Frank will have started showing some improvement to the point that a team may want to make some trades to get to them. We can then throw MCW into the trade and pick up another backup PG, and some other attractive piece, and maybe a draft pick, and we can see how the second half of the season plays out.
I’m not giving up on my Hornets jut yet. I just am telling anyone that will listen that something needs to change. The team can just start planning on who to draft if they are unwilling to make those changes. I know what my momma said about if I didn’t have anything nice to say to not say anything at all. She also said to be honest. I’m being honest with what I say. This Hornets team look way better on paper than on the court and Rich Cho and MJ are going to have to start working the phones sooner than later if they expect this season to not be a train wreck. Let’s start planning guys.
Let’s Go Hornets!