“It has been a long time, long time, shouldn’t have left you, left you…” The people of Charlotte can rejoice and sing collectively as the Charlotte Hornets are back, hopefully with their old uniforms and “Grandmama” included, building more positive momentum for the future on the heels of making the playoffs for the first time in three years and the second time in franchise history. Welcome Back.
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Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: 2014-2015 Potential Roster Review
New Head Coach Steve Clifford set the tone with this team as a defensive-oriented group with enough offense to win games. It is a March Madness style that was effective enough to win 43 games and get to the playoffs. The frontcourt is fairly deep next year with Al Jefferson, Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo, Brandon Haywood, and Josh McRoberts. The team can go deep there and run a fluid rotation, but the perimeter is less dynamic and deep outside of Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Gary Neal. The team that made the playoffs will be back again outside of a few pieces, which can be replicated with two first-round picks and free-agency this summer.
TWO: Biggest Strengths
As mentioned above the depth of the frontcourt is a major strength which plays into this being a very stout defensive team. Individually, this is not a collection of great defensive talent, but with terrific coaching and a team scheme they were one of the league’s best. The Hornets rebound well, take care of the ball while limiting turnovers, and needle the pace down to a crawl to control the game. Coaching, the Kemba-Big Al duo, and defense are the primary strengths of this Hornets team.
THREE: Biggest Weaknesses
The duo of Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson provided just enough scoring to get into the playoffs, but they need more diverse scoring options. Play-making, shooting, and a third scoring option will allow the Hornets to not only get to the playoffs, but they will be able to compete on that level. Additional shooters, ball-handlers, or overall scorers are the biggest weaknesses going forward.
FOUR: Odds In The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery
There is no such thing as “winners and losers” in a lottery, only odds and ping-pong balls. If there was a winner, however, it was the Charlotte Hornets who officially took over the Detroit Pistons pick after it fell out of the top 8. The Pistons had a 72.4 percent chance of staying at No. 8, a 10 percent chance of moving into the Top 3, and a 17.6 percent chance of giving their pick to the Hornets, which is what eventually happened. It is Detroit, gentlemen, the Odds Gods will not save you…