Category Archives: Charlotte Hornets

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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.”