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NBA 2015-16 Team Previews: Charlotte Hornets – Buzzkill

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Charlotte Hornets

Our NBA 2015-16 Team Previews continues in the Southeast Division, next up The Charlotte Hornets:

Record:  33-49, 11th in the Eastern Conference,  4th in Southeast Division, Failed to make playoffs

Rank: Offense:97.6 (28th)   Defense: 101.0 (9th)  Differential/Net: minus -3.4 (23rd) Pace: 95.3 (22nd)

2014-15

Key Stats:

  • Second overall in Opponents Points In Paint per game with 38.5
  • First overall in Defensive Rebounding percentage with 79.3%
  • Lead the league in fewest turn overs per game with 11.9

Off Season Moves

Key Areas Needing Addressing:

  • Interior defense
  • Offensive versatility
  • Lack of talent

Draft:   Frank Kaminsky  selected 9th in the first round

Player Additions/Players Re-Signed:

Players Exiting:

2015-16

Core Players:

Kemba Walker, Al Jefferson, Cody Zeller, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Key Reserves: Frank Kaminsky, Jeremy Lin, Spencer Hawes

Outlook

Rising Star:

Dec 23, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) passes the ball as Milwaukee Bucks center Zaza Pachulia (27) defends during the first quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Kemba Walker is primarily the only option on this depleted Charlotte roster that can create for himself on the perimeter. Walker is crafty with the ball and can get to the rim almost at will but has a hard time finishing. For Charlotte to have a chance of competing this year, Walker has to develop more into a distributing point guard rather than one who prefers to take ill advised mid range jumpers late in the shot clock.

On The Bubble:

After a dismal last year with the Blazers, Nicolas Batum will look to revitalize his career in Charlotte where head coach Steve Clifford has stated that he will be the 2nd option offensively. Batum was effective as strictly a three and “D” guy in Portland before his shooting woes so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles being the some what go to guy for the Hornets.

X-Factor:

Entering his contract year, Al Jefferson will look to continue to feast in the post being the only reliable go to option for Clifford’s team. Jefferson is perhaps the craftiest player on the low block and can demand double teams when he gets it going. If Jefferson is able to consistently be a force throughout the season, teams will be forced to double which will help with the spacing issues the Hornets have on offense.

Best Case: 

Kemba Walker improves drastically in terms of efficiency while having a career year. Batum finds his stroke from outside and regains the confidence he once had in Portland. Al Jefferson continues to do Al Jefferson things and Jeremy Lin gets a hair cut.

Barely sneaking into the 8th seed.

Worst Case:

Teams will feast on the Hornets lack of interior defense, Walker continues to take “WTF” type shots, Al Jefferson is bit with an injury bug and Jeremy Lin never gets that hair cut.

Missed the playoffs.

Prediction:

With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out the Hornets will naturally regress defensively especially with it’s lack of rim protection. This roster just doesn’t seem like it’s ready to compete, a lot of holes defensively and no consistent source of scoring.

Maybe next year.

Games versus the Houston Rockets

  • December 21st at Toyota Center
  • March 12th at Time Warner Cable Arena

Fansided Affiliate Site:  Swarm and Sting

Make sure you catch up on our entire Team Preview Series, our Houston Rockets Player Profile Series as well as our SCS Round Table Sessions to help you get through the early season. Start your morning with SCS Rocket Science Daily and visit us throughout the day to keep abreast of all your Houston Rockets news and updates.

Next: Magic Preview

Next: Rockets Preview

Next: SCS Complete Round Table Sessions

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