Category Archives: Charlotte Hornets

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Welcome to Buzz City Beat, a daily roundup of the best articles from around the internet surrounding the Charlotte Hornets.

Despite dealing with a dislocated finger, Dwight Howard had one of his best games of the season and led his side to victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at what the next step is for the Charlotte Hornets, how Kemba Walker continues to excel with a non-contender and the Greensboro Swarm losing to the Lakeland Magic.
What is the Charlotte Hornets’ next step? (HoopsRumors.com)

Still, it’s not clear what Plan B in Charlotte is. Unlike fellow 11-win teams like the Kings, Suns, and Lakers, the Hornets don’t have a plethora of promising young players they can focus on developing with things going south.

It’s unclear what the best move is for Charlotte going forward. They will have to choose between either re-tooling or completely rebuilding by tanking. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that changes are needed as what they are doing now isn’t working. With Rich Cho in the final year of his deal, the Hornets will probably look to re-tool by improving their current squad in an attempt to make a playoff push int he second half of the season.

Although, if they continue to struggle for long enough, tanking might look more appealing and a rebuild may be their only option. If Charlotte is still near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, their best bet is to cut salary and acquire draft picks/young talent. We’ll have to wait and see what the Hornets’ plan of attack is for the remainder of the season because right now, they don’t have a clear Plan B. What do you think the team should do?
Kemba continues to excel in relative obscurity (UPROXX.com)

Walker isn’t the first, nor the last, legitimate NBA star to languish in anonymity, which comes with the territory when dealing with a sub-.500 team in a market that does not generate national interest on its own. Still, it has to be emphasized, that Walker isn’t the problem in Charlotte, nor is there any real optimism for a future without him should he choose to leave in free agency at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 season.

No matter how bad the Hornets have been over the past few years, Walker has always been a constant positive for the team. Despite all of his individual success, the all-star point guard has yet to win a playoff series in his two trips to the postseason. Kemba’s 3-8 record in only 11 playoff games can largely be attributed to the teams around him rather than his individual play.

If Walker played on a team that was consistently in the playoffs or at least was in a bigger market, he would not only get more recognition but also be one of the more popular players in the league. Whether it be in Charlotte or not, hopefully, Kemba can play on a contender one day. In order to increase their chances of keeping Walker long-term, the Hornets will need to prove that they can build a winning team around him over the next couple years.
Greensboro falls to Lakeland despite 31 points from Goodwin (Gleague.NBA.com)

The Greensboro Swarm (7-12) and Lakeland Magic (13-5) went back-and-forth but it was the Magic’s 8-0 run to close the game that sealed a, 106-102, Swarm defeat. Lakeland has won seven straight games.

Just when it looked like the Swarm were about to turn their season around, they are only 2-3 in their last five. Greensboro still has three games left before the new year and if they can win all three, they could move into the top-8 in the Eastern Conference. If Archie Goodwin continues to play well, this team could be in line for more wins going forward.

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The Charlotte Hornets’ top draft pick was benched in favor of Michael Carter-Williams after the team lost six straight games.

Steve Clifford chose to bench his star rookie because he needed more defense. After losing six straight games, he chose not to play Malik Monk a single minute against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Charlotte Hornets‘ head coach said that “It’s not Malik’s fault, it’s just his position; [Michael Carter-Williams is] a difference-maker defensively.” (CharlotteObserver.com)

This was the first time this year that the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft didn’t play in a game for Charlotte. He saw at least nine minutes in the Hornets’ first 14 games of the season. In a surprising turn of events, Monk has fallen out of the team’s rotation while second-round pick Dwayne Bacon is still getting important minutes off of the bench.

The Kentucky product saw 19.8 minutes per game was averaging 8.8 points, 1.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds. He’s been struggling to find his shot shooting only 34.6% from the field and 33.3% from the three-point line. His lack of offensive production hasn’t been enough to overshadow his poor defensive play.

Monk’s defense was a big question mark coming out of college. His size is making him a bit of a liability on that end of the floor. To try and cover up his defensive woes, Coach Clifford was playing Malik at point guard so that he wouldn’t be forced to cover bigger shooting guards. That worked while Michael Carter-Williams was out rehabbing from offseason knee procedures but now that MCW is back, it looks like the rookie has fallen out of the rotation.

Even though the 19-year old is struggling, it isn’t out of the norm for a rookie to have a rough start at the professional level. Even Lonzo Ball, who was the second overall pick, is having his fair share of problems in the NBA. It takes time for most first-year players to adjust to the speed and style of the league.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues going forward. If the hamstring injury that Jeremy Lamb suffered against the Clippers keeps him sidelined, it could mean a return to the rotation for Monk. At some point, you’d have to think that Malik will earn his minutes back.

It’s far too early to completely give up on such a promising rookie but for the time being, the Hornets need win games and Steve Clifford is electing to go with defense over offense. So until Malik improves his play on that end of the court or Charlotte’s defense as a whole gets better, it’s unlikely that he will see significant minutes anytime soon.

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Buzz City Beat is Swarm and Sting’s one stop for the best articles from around the internet surrounding the Charlotte Hornets.

After the injury to Nicolas Batum, a YouTuber made a video explaining why the team should trade Kemba Walker. In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at where the Charlotte Hornets‘ top players rank in the NBA, a trade made by the Greensboro Swarm and Kemba praising Avery Bradley.
Hornets have five players rank in NBA top-100 (BleacherReport.com)

Wake the heck up if Kemba Walker checking in at No. 23 grinds your gears. You’ve been sleeping on him for too long. (If you’re more rattled because you think he’s too low, then you have my #respek.)

Kemba was the highest ranking Charlotte player as he came in inside the top-25. He was just ahead of Klay Thompson and just behind Kyrie Irving. If those players are considered stars in this league, then I think it’s time that Walker is considered one as well. Taking the next step on defense will help put him over the top and into the next tier of players.

Dwight Howard was the second-highest ranked Hornets’ player at No. 73. Nicolas Batum (80), Cody Zeller (85) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (87) were all named inside the top-100 giving Steve Clifford’s side five players ranked on the list. Marvin Williams was in the “Soul-Crushing Exclusions” section as he barely missed the cut.
Greensboro Swarm trade (Twitter)

We have acquired 1st round draft picks in 2017 & 18 from @WisconsinHerd in exchange for the returning player rights to Xavier Munford

Munford played 30 games for the Swarm last year before leaving to Spain as he signed with FC Barcelona Lassa midseason. With Marcus Paige, who is on a two-way contract with Charlotte, set to spend most of the 2017-18 season in the G-League with Greensboro, it made Xavier expendable. Over the summer, Munford put up 10.2 PPG with Team USA as he helped lead them to the FIBA AmeriCup Title.

The Swarm got a pretty good return in exchange for Xavier with two first-round picks. The 2017 NBA G-League Draft is on October 21st. He averaged 18.5 PPG, 5.3 APG and 4.7 RPG with the Hornets’ G-League affiliate.
Kemba Walker praises Avery Bradley ahead of regular-season opener (freep.com)

Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker rolled his eyes when asked about the Bradley snub. “That’s ridiculous. He’s probably, if not the best, one of the best on-ball defenders in our league,” said Walker, who will lead the Hornets against the Pistons on Wednesday night in both teams’ season opener.

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 David T. Foster III

David T. Foster III

Three practices into the Charlotte Hornets’ training camp at Spectrum Center, some minor injuries have cropped up.

Forward Treveon Graham suffered a left hamstring injury Wednesday. Also, center Dwight Howard experienced lower-back tightness that limited him in the morning session at the Hornets’ practice gym.

Prior to that, the only injury limitation was backup point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who hasn’t been cleared for contact, following Platelet-Rich Plasma procedures on both knees over the summer.

Graham, who can play either small or power forward, had a strong week in Orlando summer league games in July. However, his salary for the coming season – about $1.3 million – is not yet guaranteed under his contract.

That means if the Hornets were pinched for a roster spot, Graham could be cut without ramifications on the team’s salary cap. He played 27 games (a total of 189 minutes) for the Hornets last season.

“I’ll approach it how I’ve approached it the last year: focused and ready to do whatever it takes to make the team,” Graham said of this preseason. “My contract isn’t guaranteed, so it’s (important to) go into training camp with confidence, know I belong, and play my game.”

Graham played in the G-League before the Hornets signed him as a free agent in July 2016.

At 6-foot-5, Graham’s natural NBA position is small forward, but he’s rugged enough to occasionally play power forward:

“Mostly wing, but depending on the lineup situation, I do believe I can move to (power forward) depending on the game.”