The Charlotte Hornets, as of today, sit atop the Southeast Division with a record of 3-1. I know we’re only 4 games into the season, but it feels so good to say we’re in first, I will take any and every opportunity to do so.
Again the Hornets had to play from behind in order to get the victory. Instead of coming back from 19, or 13, they had to fight back from a 7-point deficit at the half in order to get the victory. Teams have to work so much harder to overcome deficits in order to win games. So much energy has to be expended to get the victory that eventually you see teams ”run out of gas” as time winds down. That hasn’t happened just yet for our Men of Teal, but if we don’t start playing better defense for all 4 quarters and do a better job taking care of the ball, losses are going to start coming.
16 turnovers on the night with the bulk coming from the playmakers, Kemba (4), Batum (3), and Hawes (4) just are not acceptable. The guys are going to have to be smarter with the ball. I saw more than one time where there were cross-court passes, or passes that were just out of control. We need to clean that up. We want to keep that moniker of being able to take good care of the ball.
I think that’s enough fussing for now. What went well for the Hornets tonight? Well, Kemba’s season high 30 points was a nice start. His 6 rebounds and 1 assist were good to have as well. Nic Batum was next in line, scoring 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists. Cody Zeller came to play again tonight. Matching up against the much heavier Brook Lopez, Cody did just what a smaller center needed to do against him. Lopez was held to 18 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 turnovers. Now I know you may be complaining about the amount of points that Brook scored, but points aren’t the only important stat. Cody had 10 points, but he also had 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, a block, and zero turnovers. I really like those numbers against a center like Lopez. Cody played a good game and was involved in every aspect of the game. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was pretty good tonight as well. Again, when I say that points aren’t everything, MKG had 6 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a blocked shot, with no turnovers. All in all it was what I would call a sloppy looking game still. There were longer spans of pretty basketball in the 3rd quarter, but when the bench comes in, that chemistry just isn’t there yet. Spencer had a good night with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and a block. Kaminsky had an OK night as well with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Even Ramon Sessions did “backup point guard work” with some bad shooting, but 6 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds.
I think the bench needs more time to get into the flow and build chemistry, but I also believe that they will get there. It’s still real early to make decisions on the season, but I’ve liked what I have seen so far. They are playing smart, and even without Hibbert and Lamb, they are holding their own and playing some pretty decent basketball. We will only get better as this season continues and everyone gets healthy and stays healthy. For now, I’m just going to enjoy that my Hornets are leading their division. We have a few days off to get some rest, continue to heal, and continue to clean up our game. We need to focus on improving that 3-point shot, improving smart passes to reduce turnovers, and overall, just play solid defense for all 4 quarters. If we can do that, we will be a very scary team in the league this season. Let’s get ready for those Indiana pacers that will be in the Queen City on the 7th.
And as always…
Let’s Go Hornets!