So the hot topic for the Charlotte Hornets, at least on Twitter, where I spend most of my social media time, is who the Hornets should start at point guard. We are 5 games into the season and have a 2-3 record. Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham have been the starters for those 5 games.
When LaMelo Ball comes in, it seems as though a calming presence comes in. The team looks super focused, and ready to roll. They look like they are firing on all cylinders (no Pistons reference even though we are playing them tonight), and the numbers improve with every game for Ball.
So where do I stand? Statistically, the team is better with Ball on the court. So why isn’t it as simple as starting him? There are a few concerns. Ball’s numbers are not as good when Miles Bridges isn’t on the floor with him. Why is this a problem? Well, we keep starting PJ Washington at the 4 and Biz at the 5 because Zeller is out with the broken hand. I would say that we could just pull the trigger and make Ball the starter beside Rozier, who aside from last night, has been shooting the lights out, but then who do the alley oops go to?
It’s all about the players you have and the rotations therein. So if we start the usual 5 with the only change being Ball, it looks like this:
Now, Ball and Biz play well together, but it isn’t like Bridges who is either draining 3s, dunking alley oops, putting defenders in the spin cycle, or finding the open guy to pass to himself. With Ball and Biz, it’s just going to be pick and roll and/or hitting Biz for a dunk.
So what do we do? I personally believe that you have to look at EVERYONE on this roster. They all are practicing together, so don’t give me the “solidified rotation crap”. When your backcourt is 1 for 21, you make changed in that game, and there is a certain level that you let the guys go, but I do not let a lead get more than 10 points before I start making changes. Those changes have to be strategic in which we have players who play off of each other wonderfully.
So what do we have?
I’m going to go strictly by how ESPN lists them, and let it sink in:
Vernon Carey Jr.
Position-less NBA they say. Starters don’t really matter they say. We have on our team 1 guy listed as a center that is starting at center, and he’s 6′ 9″ and stronger than 3 rows of onions (Eric Collins fan here). The other 2 don’t play, and are 6′ 10″ and 6′ 11″ rookies. We actually refuse to play them, and Coach JB is starting to talk about having Miles Bridges, the 6′ 7″ 225lb small forward playing some at center. Yeah, you’re reading that right. The only way I see that working is if we are changing that starting 5…and by changing it, I mean we’re getting Ball in at starter and keeping him with Miles.
This may make the most sense though I don’t know a whole lot about Washington and if he has a big ego about not starting.
Here is where it gets tricky. What do we do with that second unit. My personal opinion is that the starting 5, to maximize the team and Ball’s success, is option B. Your second unit has to be Washington coming in to relieve Biyombo, Graham coming in to relieve Ball, Monk coming in to relieve Rozier (yes, a shooter/scorer to relieve a shooter/scorer), Caleb Martin to relieve Hayward, and Jalen McDaniels to relieve Bridges.
My Option A second Unit:
My Option B second unit:
I don’t really have one.
Then, as you want to bring starters back in, you can start with Bridges, then Ball, then, Hayward, then Rozier and Biz.
Am I right? Probably not. Please tell me if this makes any sense. I’m just looking and I see a need in the rotations, and unfortunately, my rotation of 10-men excludes Cody Martin, but some nights Cody may be the better fit over Caleb. I just think Monk deserves a chance to be in that mix. We need a dynamic scorer, and he is it. I still want to see him and Ball on the floor together.
This is just what I’m thinking and feeling from a fan of the team and the game, and I’m trying to keep chemistry together.
Let’s Go Hornets