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August 13, 2014

New-look Hornets will open at home against the Milwaukee Bucks

The new-look Charlotte Hornets will play their first regular-season game at home Oct. 29 against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Observer confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

            Also, the Hornets will host the Memphis Grizzlies Nov. 1 in their first season rebranded from their original Bobcats identity.

            The NBA will release all 30 teams’ regular-season schedules at around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Bobcats received permission from the league to rebrand as the Hornets, Charlotte’s original NBA franchise. They’ll start the upcoming season with a teal-and-purple color scheme for uniforms, playing surface and signage.

            Based on recent history, the Hornets should have a strong chance to open 1-0. The Bobcats won their last five games against the Bucks, sweeping the 2013-14 series 4-0.

            The Bucks are rebuilding around former Duke star Jabari Parker, who Milwaukee drafted second overall. Meanwhile the Hornets/Bobcats are looking to reach the playoffs for the second straight season. The Bobcats went 43-39 last season, the first coached by Steve Clifford.

            The Bucks game will also be the regular-season debut for new Hornets Lance Stephenson, Noah Vonleh and P.J. Hairston.

Posted by Observer Sports on August 13, 2014 at 03:58 PM | Permalink

Comments

Has Punch Drunk signed a contract yet? What's the holdup?!?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 13, 2014 4:31:58 PM

I can't wait! Will be a full week with this game Wednesday, Panthers against N.O. on Thursday, and Halloween Friday. I smell a hangover or three.

Posted by: Go Hornets! | Aug 13, 2014 5:23:53 PM

When do tix go on sale?

Posted by: Robert | Aug 13, 2014 7:29:51 PM

The Bucks? Seriously? Could the NBA have picked a less exciting matchup for our first game as the Hornets? We will bring energy to the building and make it a great night but THE BUCKS???

Posted by: Steve | Aug 13, 2014 8:10:57 PM

If I'm not mistaken, wasn't this the same team we played our final home game against in the playoffs as the Hornets? How fitting if true to open the new Hornets against the same team they ended their last run in Charlotte.

Posted by: Tim | Aug 13, 2014 8:43:04 PM

Sorry, NASTAR; I had your "thesis" that you asked for two weeks ago; about slammed my head through the wall trying to post it before I finally realized it was the C.O.

...hardly seems relevant anymore-

Posted by: the Dude | Aug 13, 2014 10:42:03 PM

Tim - we did play the Bucks in one of our last playoff runs but the final home Playoff game in 2002 was against the NJ Nets.

Posted by: steve | Aug 14, 2014 8:40:07 AM

Dude, LOL...they shut us down for a while.

You must be referencing the question about what does Vonleh have to do in a 2-5 year time frame to justify the #9 pick and how does the #4 factor into the scenario?

Still totally relevant...your thoughts?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 14, 2014 10:11:15 AM

The Bucks will not be a walk over . They have a brilliant coach . A real two way pt gd that facilitates . A 6 ft 8 sg that will be a star soon and who can play w anyone . Parker who's nba ready now . Sanders . Henson and another guy . The Hornets will have their hands full .

Vonleh will do 14 , 6 and be a versatile two way player in two yrs . Three for sure . He will start at pf . Zeller will come off the bench at pf and they will make a good tandem . It looks like Zeller won't be strong enough to keep pace w these starting pfs . He could be relegated to fit off the bench on a good team giving you 20 very good minutes . He got pushed around in his second yr in summer league and still can't make the open shy at the foul line . He's struggling to adjust from being a center in college and a pf now . He takes guys off the dribble but never strong and won't use any upfakes . The game is still and may be too fast for hm as a starter . I , everyone expected a stronger guy that would have domnated the summer league guys which tells you they are about to break out . Vonleh will pas hm by . He's still worth it but they brought in Williams and Vonleh . That tells you a lot .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 14, 2014 3:33:18 PM

So Minny, Yes Co. & Cho drafted a #4 to come off the bench? Nice...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 15, 2014 12:17:59 AM

The league is full of pt gds who can run a team , facilitate , play defense , get inside and dish , make teammates better and shoot at a decent clip from the field . And don't let opposing pt gds shoot 40% from the arc on him . Ones that can run the pick n roll and defend it . All those deficiencies can't spell anything but doom trying to get out the first round . Cut bait and offer shorty a contract as a 6 th man or let him walk . Period . If they sign shorty , they do not want to win or get past the first round but fill seats . There's a glut of great pt gds . And here's the ones better than shorty ...1 Paul . 2. Westbrook 3. Lilliard 4 Parker 5 wall 6. Curry 7 . Rose 8 . Teague if 9. Lowry 10. Bledsoe 11. Dragic 12 . Rondo 14. Rubio 15. Lawson . 16 Deron . That's half the league starters , and shorty will never defend the pick n roll , get double digit assists at the rim in one game or be close on average , never run the pick n roll and can't make one teamnate better bc he can't facilitate ... Neither will he shoot 44, 37 and 82 . . You can't pay him 9 , 10 , 11 m a yr w these deficiencies . Pay him as a back up he will be great as . He's a sg . He will set this team back 6 yrs giving him the keys . You have options in these upcoming pt gds to make a deal for . Smart , Exum , Burke or Harrison soon to be coming out or the number one pick . Make it happen ...

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 15, 2014 5:47:33 AM

Zeller wasn't drafted to come off the bench . Not many lotto picks are . He just didnt fit as wel as McRoberts did w the starters . Some of this is bc Kemba sucks at facilitating . A good facilitating pt gd would have made all teamnates better including Zeller and Mkg . You can't name one player that's better bc of Kembas play at point . Look at the list I set forth above . All of them do . This will impede all of their progress until it's changed . Zeller can get out in transition but how many lobs has he got ? How many in the half ct set despite being able to jump and catch ? How many shots off rolling off Kemba ? Ditto for Mkg . That's when they're shipped , you will see greatly improved offensive players over night . Bledsoe wants out . Do anything that needs to be done to get him . Send Kembas high volume ,poor shooting % , no help or on ball defending ass to the bench or put him in trade . He's got great value but there's soooo many better . More imp , so many better that do the fundamental ot gd stuff which he can't .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 15, 2014 9:14:18 AM

And I told y'all what Clifford is going to do . He has to win now . He will put his best team out there . He said Lance can play sg or sf . And unlike Mkg , he can defend larger sfs . Think King James . Mkg infuriates Clifford w being foul prone . It goes against his defend wo fouling policy , rips into the team stats in more ways than one and outs the team in the bonus giving them free shots . You've seen ?Clifford actually holler at him about this on the floor . He may start the game off but Lance is playing sg on offense and sf on defense . Henderson is playing sg on defense and sf on offense where he averaged 20 points a game after the break bc they can't stay w him . Clifford said he's got to find more ways for Henderson to score and does not know his starting 5 right now . The two best wings are by far and away are Lance ánd .Henderson . Period . Henderson was in a slump and did not make the open shot in the playoffs but young guys half the time mess up playing in the playoffs . Harden hasn't played well yet . These two will create offense bc they both can pass , hand off , cut and feed off each other like McRoberts n Henderson did two yrs ago . Jefferson has to get out the way so they can attack . Unless Mkgs offensive game has ramped it up , it will be this way . He got that 22 on Allen btw . I love him but he's not ready yet to sit two older wings that can play both ways w lots of game .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 15, 2014 10:59:36 AM

I swear a couple of people have made this comments section a joke.... anyway, back the topic. I hardly care who we play for the opener, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE OTHER TEAM!!! It's about CHARLOTTE fans wanting the see the CHARLOTTE HORNETS, period.

Posted by: TheRealJD | Aug 15, 2014 5:46:07 PM

JD, you think the upper deck will be open or are they just going to curtain all that off this year?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 15, 2014 7:50:34 PM

1. Clevland 2. Bulls 3 . Wizards 4 . Raptors 5 . Hawks 6. Pistons 7.,nets 8 heat 9. Hornets 10. Knicks 11. Bucks . The bench will be tge best in the ?East , scoring wise and defense . Clitffords one trick pony offense will finally get exposed . Lance will go stat. Hunting . The three will not play together trying to each make the all star team first and foremost , playing selfishly . Kembas pt gd play or lack of it will get further exposed and he finally will be moved off the point having never made anyone better , putting up bad shooting percentages and still never learned how to create in the lane , the sole stat for a good point gd , out side of running the pick n roll .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 16, 2014 4:02:47 AM

If any one expects this blog to be a rah rah sis boom bah from here out , not getting at the truth , justice (,and the American way ..lol ) they would be sadly mistaken . Now I see why Nastars calls some of you slurpers JD , namely you . That sir is the joke .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 16, 2014 4:35:59 AM

The fans wil turn out in droves just to see me this year! That cannot be denied. The return of Hugo the Hornet will have the new hive rocking. The opener will be magical. Bringing back the '88. If you are not there you will wish you were.

Posted by: Hugo | Aug 16, 2014 8:15:47 AM

Looking forward to the Cleveland game. Can't beat them but might be one of the few teams that have multiple players that can guard Lebron. MKG did some nice things in the playoffs. Lance loves the matchup and Taylor has the size and strength to get some minutes on him as well. That will just be a very interesting up this year. Too bad the Love trade throws it off. Still will be fun to watch.

Posted by: Geno | Aug 16, 2014 9:24:34 AM

Tell me again who will put some good minutes on King James ? Half the time he's passing looking for teamates and the defender is merely standing in front of him not bothering him in the least . ( something Kemba should be doing btw ) Lance scored ten points a game against him except for one game . George was the one checking him . If King Jams wants to score , there's no now on the Hornets that can do anyting about it . Ask Mkg , when he got torched for 60 . I don't think he played much in the 4 th . This is ESP so when you have weak or nonexistent help defenders in guys like Jefferson or the departed McRoberts . Fans . Smh . Let's keep it somewhat real .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 16, 2014 5:28:49 PM

Do you even watch basketball? They were one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and just added another great on the ball and team defender. And also are getting another solid defender back from injury. Defense will not be an issue. They will give most team fits. Even trams as talented as Cleveland.

Posted by: Geno | Aug 16, 2014 8:19:20 PM

Some of these comments are just ridiculous. A team goes from 21 wins to 43 wins. Then adds an all star caliber player and they are not going to get better? Yea. That makes sense.

Posted by: Jim | Aug 16, 2014 9:55:55 PM

Geno . Don't talk about stuff you know zero about . The 5 th best defense in the league got ripped by the Heat in the playoffs . This is bc the team stats stuff is pure garbage . Whatever your defensive scheme is , at some point in the set , each individual must play on ball defense . Out of the starting five , that was only Henderson and Mkg . Learn some bb . Kyrie will destroy Kemba . Waiters will be tempered by Lance . King James will rip Mkg apart . Love will destroy Williams . By the mid break , the .cavs will have a league average guy who can score about 13 a game but will get well over his average against the worse defender in the league in Jefferson . It takes a team defense to stop James . He will get a screen from Jeffersons man , Jefferson won't come out on the switch but look at James like he did and Mkg will get the blame again when James gets 50 . So don't tell me about a team defense that's ok for half the sorry teams in the league but is a joke for the rest . ESP the top ten . And for sure in the playoffs . Some of you guys know as much bb as a cricket .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 16, 2014 11:19:39 PM

This was the 5 th best team defense that Kemba and Jefferson could not defend the pick and roll . When a team needed a serious basket , they would put Kemba in the pick and roll and abuse him . Clifford demands that Kemba not run in transition to keep turnovers down enhancing the team defense position . This is a joke losing opportunities to score . Clifford allows Jefferson and Kemba to let players go in for layups untouched to avoid free throws which allows you to keep your high team defense position but , thinking that if you stand in front of a player , he's likely to miss but fior sure , you haven't sent him to the line too getting the layup and one . But such a policy allows a layup line and teams know it . In the playoffs or top games , this policy gets exposed . So the team defense bs is a joke and a soft position working well against lousy teams but not against top teams , the top half of the league or in the playoffs . Bottom line , you're not winning w guys like Kemba , the departed McRoberts and for sure the horrifically defensive bum in Jefferson ... Ever .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 16, 2014 11:37:01 PM

^^^so this guy bases his defensive theories on a series against the Heat that the team played without their best player? Wait what? Quick give this dude a whistle and a clip board. Also, based on his 9 comments, a hobby might be helpful. Moving on.

Posted by: Jim | Aug 17, 2014 7:04:28 AM

ESPN forecast for the Hornets this year. 5 seed. Would like to see a few more wins, but seeding is obviously more important especially since the conference will be better.

5. Charlotte Hornets 45 37 .549 43 39 .524

Posted by: Real | Aug 17, 2014 9:47:51 AM

"Then adds an all star caliber player and they are not going to get better?"

"...all star caliber" and $2.10 will get you a medium coffee at Starbucks. Aren't you the same guy who was suggesting Byron Mullens was a "borderline all-star"? You're either an all-star or you're not...neither of those guys are I doubt either ever will be.

"^^^so this guy bases his defensive theories on a series against the Heat that the team played without their best player?"

Wait, you think if the Boobs had The Matador in the lineup against the Heat the defense would have been better? I thought Fumblerooski was an elite defensive center....shouldn't the D have gotten better in Big Al's absence?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 17, 2014 1:35:49 PM

Byron Mullins? That is some serious grasping. Calling a 23 year old that led the NBA in triple doubles an all star caliber player is not a reach. Should of made it last year. Has a very good shot this year and was better than a couple of grandfathered players last year. He is a big time addition to this team.

Posted by: Jim | Aug 17, 2014 7:08:35 PM

Jim. You couldn't be this stupid . The best player they played wo is the worst defender in all of bb . I went beyond the Heat series btw , clown . There hasn't been one game last yr that he played even a drop of defense . Not a one . But the team being devoid of he being in the lineup would have improved under any circumstances right ? This best player can't perform offensively or defensively in the pick n roll . He never comes out beyond ten ft from the basket to guard anyone that's his assignment . When his man screens up top and he must switch , he never picks up his assignment if the opponent is 11 ft from the basket bc he's lazy and slow . He provided zero help defense . He never once rotated when the ball was swung . He pathetically watched countless players drive in getting by perimeter defenders coming in for layups untouched all yr . Sadly , all of this preceeded him before he got here . That's why Utah failed to re - sign one of the most brilliant low post scorers since Wilter Chamberlain !! ( they were sick of it ) . But you maintain they missed him in the lineup on defense at any point last yr . Lmfao . Don't post . ESP don't post trying to make jokes bc you're the joke .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 17, 2014 7:17:31 PM

Henderson averaged 15 points over the last 3 yrs . Go look how many sgs average 16 points a game in the league . He improved his three point shooting each yr . Last yr , Kemba , Henderson and Taylor all suffered horrifically bc of the dump into Jefferson policy that all players must seriously adjust to . Worse , he clogs lanes , never moves , demands the ball even when you finally get it , runs the shot clock down before you get it and is a huge distraction to your own offense trying to get it to him . Worse than that , he never hands it off on a cut unless your name is Kemba , for an easy basket . Even worse , he rarely comes out to clear out and set high ball screens . You must become a catch n shoot guy to even compete or compliment him . There's a name for this but it wouldn't be close to a fair assessment simply calling him a ball hog . I know many of you have never played on a major level outside of hs , so I give you a pass for being ignorant of the realities that beset these guys who struggle to play w a guy like that .

Lance will be stunned when he's confronted by all of this . There's no way he re-signs here. He's been accused of running the shot clock down overdribbling , looking for his shot . Henderson should but won't do this . Jefferson will explode when Lance pulls this but Lance is hell bent to be an Allstar . They will clash from day one . Lance will shoot for triple doubles . His rebounding will not be close to double digits bc of Mkg n Jeferson who won't allow the stealing of boards . The only reason we needed McRoberts and he emerged was bc Kemba sucked at facilitating , most particularly at the rim and in the paint . So Lance will continue to keep the ball in his hands and hit cutters in the lane . He actually made George better and Taylor , Henderson and Mkg will finally benefit from a guy passing closer in . But we will see if Jefferson and Kemba really want to win . If they do , they will let Lance do his thing . He's a star not by scoring . He averaged only ten points in the Ecf outside of one game . It's his two way play a and ball handling .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 17, 2014 10:04:10 PM

OK "Iron Man". You are right. I could not the that stupid, but it looks like you could. I guess having the best low post scorer in the NBA in the lineup. A player you can go to consistently and grind clock would not help limit the other teams possessions and fast break points. I didn't think it could be possible for someone to not understand the correlation. Nice job! Hilarious.

Posted by: Jim | Aug 18, 2014 6:12:22 AM

Jim . You just made that up to try to save face . No one would ever believe that you remotely had that in mind as to causing the defense to decline . That being his slow lumbering running the shot clock down offense which decreases opposing teams possessions . And if you think that trumps , no on ball defense , no help defense , an inability to defend the pick n roll , refusing to cover centers playing anymore than 10 ft from the basket , providing zero protection in the paint , zero shot blocking zero rim protection or failing to do anything stopping the layup line by players driving to the rack other than looking at them , you're a fool .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 18, 2014 6:46:05 AM

Jim you did previously characterize Byron Mullens as a "borderline all-star"....didn't you?

Hey what's up with Punchy....are the Boobs going to sign him? What's the holdup? Did he holdup someone?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 18, 2014 10:47:43 AM

That is why Iron Man has zero cred. Gets called out and starts back peddling. So every time someone defends a statement, they never thought of the reason before? You might as well stop responding based on that. You know who should have thought of Al's impact on D? You! At least be a man and admit you are wrong. No wonder people think you are a clown. Don't bother engaging this guy. Clueless.

Posted by: Mike T. | Aug 18, 2014 12:58:33 PM

Mike t. You're as stupid as Jim if you think I back pedaled about one word respecting Jefferson sucks on defense and the Cats got better on defense in his absence under any conditions . Any . You're only chiming in bc I called you out on several occasions bc you didnt know what you were talking about , as is case now and actually are pretty much , a dummy . Your reasoning posted makes no sense as well . So let it be . Al Jefferson has zero impact on defense . The only persons who believe that are you , Jim and a few others , possibly relatives . We know this from the eye test . We know this bc if you go on Utah blogs as to Jefferson and his defense , they say so in in no uncertain terms . Countless national sports pundits have said exactly the same . But you and this other clown say otherwise . Whom do we believe ? You ? Jim ? Lmfao .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 18, 2014 1:25:29 PM

"^^^so this guy bases his defensive theories on a series against the Heat that the team played without their best player?"

Wait, you think if the Boobs had The Matador in the lineup against the Heat the defense would have been better? I thought Fumblerooski was an elite defensive center....shouldn't the D have gotten better in Big Al's absence?


----------

Jim?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 18, 2014 2:24:03 PM

"OK "Iron Man". You are right. I could not be the that stupid, but it looks like you could. I guess having the best low post scorer in the NBA in the lineup. A player you can go to consistently and grind clock would not help limit the other teams possessions and fast break points. I didn't think it could be possible for someone to not understand the correlation. Nice job! Hilarious"

I guess NASTAR is as dumb as Iron Man. You really don't understand how his presence on offense helps limits the opposing teams scoring opportunities? Do you even understand how a teams offensive FG% correlates to their defense? Can't believe there are 2 people in the world dumb enough to not understand it. But here they are right on this blog. Did you even see Bobcats defensive numbers last year? Wow. Just wow.

Excuse me while I try to find some intelligent discussion some where. I will let you two genius level intellects talk it out.

Posted by: Jim | Aug 18, 2014 4:25:15 PM

Jim, you haven't accounted for the fact that Fumblerooski is an "elite defensive talent" who is Big Al's backup yet somehow the defense fell off?

Jim?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 18, 2014 4:43:46 PM

So Jim ..as to defensive schemes , you would have a ball hog who gets doubled and never passes , can't pass , never getting to the line , taking the least most efficient shot in bb now which kills ball n man movement over a shot blocker , rim protector , help defender and on ball defender . .. To anchor Clifford's defensive schemes . Ok . It figures you said Mullens was a border line all star . I wouldn't have believed anyone would think that let alone say it . But if you would have Jeffersons ball hogging over the latter aforesaid stuff I outlined to anchor Clifford's defensive schemes , you're as dumb as a bag of hammers . Btw , crisp , multiple passes ball movement works much better to reduce possessions and as well , doesn't kill the Rhytm of the other players . But you wouldn't understand that . It's over your head . You a buddy of the ball hog ?

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 18, 2014 5:41:27 PM

If you don't understand how offensive possessions and FG% relate to defense you have a fundamental lack of knowledge. Either the question was rhetorical or you are a complete idiot. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but either way you are not really worth engaging further.

As far as Iron Man goes. I was not advocating any defensive philosophy simply pointing pointing out that using the Miami series as an example for your thesis was flawed. And it still is. I am sure being proven wrong was painful but the real embarrassment was your reaction. This time I am really moving on from this clown show. Good day.

Posted by: Jim | Aug 18, 2014 8:14:05 PM

Jim you did previously characterize Byron Mullens as a "borderline all-star"....didn't you?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 18, 2014 8:18:03 PM

Last comment for real. No I did not characterize Byron Mullens as a border line all-star. i have posted here about 5 times ever. What kind of numbers did he ever put up that would warrant that. Are you really comparing him to Lance Stephenson? Just grasping at straws. Biyombo is an elite defensive talent? Individually or as a team defender? Now go do some homework on how offensive efficiency affects defense. Might be heavy for your little brain but give it a shot.

There is some real ignorance here and it took about a minute to uncover. Moving on. Enjoy your life on the comment section of a blog trolls.

Posted by: Jim | Aug 19, 2014 7:28:04 AM

Jim, of course I don't think Mullens was a borderline all-star but the deluded slurper drones masses convinced themselves this was the case and promoted the myth wide and far....mistook you for one of them. You are saying you aren't a deluded slurper drone, aren't you? If this is the case, prove it...provide some constructive criticism about 3 key things the Boobs need to improve upon, in your opinion. Or do you believe everything is perfect in the Boobsylum?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 19, 2014 10:13:42 AM

So ESPN's analyst Bradford Doolittle, considers Kemba Walker (#13) a Top 15 PG in the NBA; right after Dragic and D-Will. I also love the methodology behind the analysis, since it uses WARP and RPM, two of the most realiable measurements in sports analytics. Not bad for a 3rd year undersized PG who was suppose to be in the italian league by now - according to some!

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11369866/nba-projecting-top-10-point-guards-warp-2014-15?refresh=true

Posted by: RobC | Aug 19, 2014 11:26:11 AM

I subjectively agree with the range of that ranking for Kemba, somewhere 13-15 amongst PGs. That's not the same source of happiness for me as it seems to be for others; I really like Kemba but not the role he currently plays for this team.

Posted by: Rob Butler | Aug 19, 2014 1:19:30 PM

Thank god there is some objective analysis out there.

"Jefferson's competence against the pick-and-roll has skyrocketed. When he makes a mistake, it's the opposite type, messing up because he sagged too far back as opposed to straying too far from the hoop. That adjustment falls perfectly in line with Charlotte's philosophy to manipulate offenses into settling for mid-range shots. Clifford worked this magic in one year. Imagine what he could do in a second."

Posted by: Mike T. | Aug 19, 2014 1:32:44 PM

The guilty will always speak without being spoken to....

Posted by: TheRealJD | Aug 19, 2014 1:47:33 PM

Hornets #4 in young talent in the NBA. Very strong for a team that already made the playoffs. A great read for the non haters that have some objectivity about this team...

"The Charlotte Hornets outright stole Lance Stephenson from the Indiana Pacers this summer, sealing up their spot in the top five of these rankings.Question Stephenson's antics all you'd like, but there's no denying his talent. He led the league in triple-doubles in 2013-14 (five) and averaged career highs across the board with 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.Pairing him alongside former UConn point guard Kemba Walker gives Charlotte one of the most unheralded-yet-terrifying backcourts in the league. Walker finished with the second-highest PER of any then-Bobcat who played at least 250 minutes this past season (16.8), tying his career high in points (17.7) and setting new personal bests in rebounds (4.2) and assists (6.1) per game.The Hornets were also a major beneficiary of a draft-night slide in June, landing the freakishly long Noah Vonleh at No. 9 overall. Though he's unlikely to make much of an impact early in his rookie season, few players in this year's class can match his defensive upside. Meanwhile, Cody Zeller can slide in as Charlotte's starting 4 to replace the departed Josh McRoberts, who signed with Miami as a free agent. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo have yet to live up to their lofty draft spots—they were selected second and seventh, respectively—but both helped anchor a defense that finished sixth last year in points allowed per 100 possessions.If MKG ever learns to rework his jump shot and develops into a legitimate offensive threat, Charlotte will stay among the league's elite in terms of young talent for years to come."

Posted by: Mike T. | Aug 19, 2014 4:50:48 PM

Mike T. Are you writing that stuff yourself?

"....terrifying backcourts...."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! That a GOOD one!!!!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 19, 2014 10:48:53 PM

It's Douchestar! Can discount actual basketball analysis for his own subjective insight in a flash all while making Iron Girl giggle like a 3rd grader. Have you ever seen this sort of coupling? Not that there is anything wrong with it. You go girls!

Posted by: Hornet Matt | Aug 20, 2014 9:17:08 AM

Hornet mess. Seriously . Some of your jokes are funny . You're engaging a tad bit . But could you just once post something of substance ? Seriously . Mike T is pretty much amazingly stupid as to bb fundamentals . Jim has no clue either . But at least they attempt something of substance albeit near worthless , most times . I bet it has something to do w never having played outside of the church league . But you have never posted anything of any substance respecting bb ever . Try it just once .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 20, 2014 10:37:04 AM

What good is projecting what place Kemba is or should be respecting pt gds . He can't do anything the Hornets need to get out of round one . Ever . He does not have the skillset . Period . I could start and end w ASSISSTS at the rim , allowing pt gds to shoot 40% from the arc on him , going under screens a ridiculously below league average amount of times ,his field goal % and his inability to run the pick n roll . I have at least 20 other material issues already discussed but these suffice . He would never start for Pop , doc , Thibbs , Kidd , Hollins , Jackson or Hornacec . Ever .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 20, 2014 10:46:39 AM

By end of December we will get a good sense of how team is coming together to know if Top4 seed or 4-8 seed in my mind.

Our schedule isn't as brutal as last year either.

Why win count should increase:
- Lance
- Taylor back
- Draft Picks or PJ and Noah
- Further seasoning of Kemba, Al and MKG
- MKG maybe getting a shot

Why we drop back:
- Lance
- MKG shot never comes around
- league Competition picks up its level

Overall I see us -3/=3 of 50 wins next year in that range.

And hornets vibe and home court advantage has to helpmore. Our home record last year was pretty sad.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder | Aug 20, 2014 2:14:24 PM

Holy smokes Nas has been coming on this blog every article for the last 2 years. Can someone pay these jokers (Iron, nas) to go away? It sucks the only vocals in the comment sections are from haters.

Posted by: Yikes | Aug 21, 2014 1:22:41 AM

Yikes . Learn the difference between hate and the truth . When I speak on shorty ,it's the unmitigated truth . I said he wasn't in Kyries' league and got ripped . At the time ,Kyrie was lazy , didnt pass or play defense . But I outlined w specificity the skillset he had and what Kemba didnt have .

Anybody want to argue now shortys in Kyries ' league now ? Forget the stats . It's always the eye test . On both sides of the ball , shorty comes up short . Seriously short when you address the stuff a pt gd must have to get you out the first round . There's no other measure . It's out the first round . If you want mediocrity , then leave shorty , a sg running point . Did he even get an invite to work out w the national team ? The one where most of the big stars passed on ? Rose is probably out again . Will shorty get a call ? This ain't hate man . This is the cold unmitigated truth . The truth will set you free . Free your mind and your ass will follow . Free the Hornets from shorty at point and the second round will follow .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 21, 2014 9:29:05 AM

So based on WARP all our guards and wings ar ein the Top 15 in the NBA, and they are all under 25 years old, no bad at all. WARP while combined with Real Plus Minus, is arguably the best measurement to quantify the current impact of a player for his team, while predicting future growth and development.

PG Kemba Walker #13
SG Lance Stephenson #10
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14

I really prefer to listen to people that do this for a living, instead of listening to haters with a personal vendetta.

Posted by: RobC | Aug 21, 2014 9:59:29 AM

Iron Man, you are a hater...at least when it comes to Kemba Walker. No Kemba is not a superstar, but he is a terrific starting caliber PG in this league. You talk about Kyrie "Overrated" Irving as if somehow he is Magic Johnson. Kyrie is a great player, on the offensive end of the floor, that's it, he is nothing more than a fantastic one trick pony, who is overrated by the fact that he was suppose to be the saviour and LBJ succesor in Cleveland.

He came into the league penciled as a starter from day one. He's had 100% better talent and coaching (Than Kemba) around him from day one. His team has not come anything close to playoff conversations. He is in Team USA because he is a great offensive player, with an overrated hype and the Coach for Team USA is some guy name Coach K.

Kyrie's number have been in decline since his rookie season. He is one of the most injury prone players in the NBA the past 3 years. He has ABSOLUTLY no defense whatsoever, heck he doesn't even try (he is worst than Al Jefferson in that aspect). The whole world know that Kyrie is the worst defender of all guards in the league, closely followed by James Harden. In addition, his passing skills are also not that impresive for a PG who has been very well coached and has had a consistent well-known from day one, plus he's had a pretty solid supporting cast. And I will not even get into his turnover rate.

So please, whenever you try to hate on Kemba because of his lack of defensive skills and court vision, try using a much better example, perhaps Chris Paul or Tony Parker. Do not use an overrated one trick pony like Kyrie. The best thing that could have happen to Kyrie, is for LBJ to go back to Cleveland, now all he has to do is score, which is about the only thing he can do well. He should be among the best 5 scoring PG next year. Hopefully LBJ will influence him enough so that he can start caring for defense, so that he can justify his massive contract, otherwise he'll be nothing more than Stephon Marbury 2.0

As for Kemba Walker, yes he still have some learning to do when it comes to his PG skills, and he has shown improvement in every single season. His efficiency will increase as he is sorrounded with better talent and some of the pressure is taken off his shoulders. I also LOVED the fact that when it mattered most (aka In the playoffs) his efficiency stats skyrocketed to elite levels: 47%FG, 50%3P, 19PPG and 6APG, eventhough his go-to guy was injured and playing at 50% of his strength. I would love to give you some playoffs stats on Kyrie, but they don't exist.

Posted by: RobC | Aug 21, 2014 10:32:07 AM

Correction for line 7 of the 3rd paragraph above:

...a consistent well-known *role* from day one...

Posted by: RobC | Aug 21, 2014 10:36:16 AM

Rob c .. At least you're trying and I respect that . This was well reasoned to a certain extent . But you really didnt address my precise , specific concerns about Kemba being a pt gd that can lead this team . Or lead this team out the first round . Ever . No one does . They continue to regurgitate general stats . I picked Kyrie bc he's playing well w the national team and in the last few yrs , he was lazy on defense and didnt pass . But at the time , I stated he was better than Kemba and got ripped .

Seriously . Why can't any of you guys adders the specific problems w Kemba ? It has to be bc you're afraid . Who cares about assists generally ? They don't count for much when the most imp assists are the ones at the rim by far and away and Kemba is in the basement respecting assists at the rim . Not close to league average but at the bottom . He's sooooo bad , he's below guys who don't start and don't even play pt gd . The Spurs dribble drive in the lane and pass 38% of the time . We know from the eye test Kemba would be in the basement in this stat too bc all he does is get in the lane and force shots at the rim . What's his stats on hitting the roller ? Lmfao . What's his stats on successfully running the pick and roll that doesn't include he being the shooter in the pick and roll bc it's misleading unless you factor him out as a shooter ? How about his drive and kicks ? See , you won't talk about this specific stuff bc you can't . Bc he's terrible in every aspect . This isn't hate . It's the gospel truth . How about his field goal percentage as to his mid range shots ?

Ok . Let's specifically deal w defense . He runs under the screen way too much and is below league average covering in the pick n roll . What's the per on average for players he defends ? We know how pathetic he is in defending opposing pt gds getting into the lane . How about his help defense ? Lol. Have you ever seen him in traps on defense ? How about his defense off cuts , ball screens . They now have stats for this stuff . But we know by the eye test he sucks badly . But I'm hating . But you won't specifically address these concerns . Nor will anyone else . It's bc you don't understand the fundamentals or you know it's a losing proposition . Until you do . Don't tell me about hating . Until you do , don't bring up his general stats which are meaningless outside of winning maybe 40 games w this guy . On the stats that count , the ones that win big games and playoff rounds , he sucks man . This ain't hate . It's the truth . Prove it if it isn't . You can't . Adresss the stats that really count . Even if you believe I've given too much weight to them , address them . It's not enough to say he's improving when in fact respecting the stuff I've outlined , he's never gotten better from day one .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 21, 2014 11:38:31 AM

And you can't be serious about the playoffs . He averaged 6 assists and 4 turnovers a game . He set no one up . He made zero guys on the team better . When they wanted to turn him over to start a run out , keeping the game out of reach , they trapped him and he coughed the ball up . I said this would happen . If he didnt face the worst performer of all time in the playoffs in Chalmers , he would have gotten torched . They took
Chalmers out and kept him in the pick and roll all game abusing him . He never once ran the pick and roll and can't . He's a brilliant sg . But not a pt gd . If the team had a league average pt gd to set up the wings , they would have been in the series . These wings need a facilitator . He can't . Don't tell me about hate . He's much second favorite player on the team . Mkg being first . I feel sorry for him bc he's going the way of Nate Robinson and doesn't know it .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 21, 2014 12:48:42 PM

Kemba should just go out West where they don't play defense . To a high scoring running team . Most these teams don't go far in the playoffs tho . Bc they can't play half ct offense . He will be great as a 6 th man on even a top team where the spacing and assists come from the system like the triangle . NYC would be a good stop but for his defense . The triangle uses big to big passes inside . But Phil always has a serious defender at pt gd to stop opposing point gd penetrtration . Kemba let's opponents shoot 40% on him from the arc which is a disaster . He's going to end up as a 6 th man or a starting pt gd on a crumb team . Right now , he's riding the high of the Hornets getting out of the basement . But if they had a facilitating pt gd , this team wouldn't be treading water or going backwards bc at some point , you will have to train a real pt gd . Cho doesn't understand bb enough . If you guys ever played w both kinds , you would never support him . It's like night and day . Watch when Mkg and Henderson get shipped out . Everyone will be saying why didnt they do that here ? Bc they never ever played w a facilitator . McRoberts was just a tease but you saw the difference w him under Dunlap w Henderson . Not Clifford who stalled things greatly w the dump into Jefferson campaign .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 21, 2014 1:25:49 PM

Iron man,

I never said Kemba is a lock down defender, I agree he needs to improve in that aspect. Actually there are not 5 PG in the NBA that could be considered lock down defenders. Chris paul is the closest thing and his defense is overrated by the fact that he has played with some of the best defensive Centers his entire career (Tyson Chandler, Emeka Okafor and DeAndre Jordan). Same thing can be said for Westbrook and Parker. Even Rose in an awful defender, eventhough he has Noah. Deron Williams is average mostly because of his size. Bledsoe and Beverly are pretty good, but not great. It is very uncommon to see defensive minded PG's in the NBA, Kemba is certainly not one.

As for your assist at the rim, you mentioned the Spurs who are full of big time shooters, you can be blind and still kick it to a shooter that will score. Who in the world was kemba suppose to drive and kick to? Taylor? Henderson? MKG? McRoberts would be the best option and he would most likely pass the ball and not complete an assist. Gary Neal came in late in the season and still struggle a little. Of course he is not going to have good numbers at drive and kick, there is NO ONE to kick it too that can score a bucket. Heck, Biyombo can't even catch a ball to save his life.

You talk about Henderson and MKG being missed on cuts, as if they did that quite often. None of them had a tendency to cut to the basket, NONE of themm. Henderson wasted the entire season running around the paint (not through the paint) looking for mid range jumpers that he missed and not daring to take open 3's. MKG did't even dare to touch the ball on offense, which is a shame, because when he is aggresive on offense, great things happen. The problem is, he is never aggresive, mostly because of a lack of confidence due to his reputation as a bad shooter.

Heck look at Game 2 in Miami, he was phenomenal on offense. The only reason is because he was aggresive. He scored 22 point is that game, only 2 of his 22 (1 FG) came as a result of him cutting to the basket. All other 20 points came from him posting up, catching the ball behind the arc and driving strong to the rim or an ocassional jumper. Last year MKG had 25pts and 12 Reb in an OT win vs Dallas, it was the exact same thing, just him being aggresive and daring to post, drive and shoot. Both games are in youtube. This team has never had guys who cut to the basket. Henderson did it just a little at the end of last seson, but most of his scoring came from jumpers from the elbows. There are no cutters or shooters on this team, NONE. How is ANY PG, expected to be good in those categories if you have no one to finish the assist.

I do agree that MKG and Hendo should be cutting to the rim in EVERY single offensive possesion, regardless if the ball goes to Jefferson or not. The truth is, they hardly ever do that. Don't even dare to suggest that they do this all the time and Kemba or anyone missed them. That may happen every one in a blue moon, but both Hendo and MKG are shy offensive players who spend way too much time hanging around outside of the paint.

And again, I agree that Kemba needs to improve in those categories, and as he is sorrounded with better talent, the jury is on him now. But he has been in the leagu just 3 years and up until Clifford/Price, his previous coaches were horrible and only demended for him to shoot, since no one else could score. To suggest that he has no skills and will never be able to improve is beyond ridicoulos.

Posted by: RobC | Aug 21, 2014 3:36:38 PM

It's totally useless to make a hard cut w the dump into .jefferson policy . Both wings get zero handoffs from Jefferson , so why cut hard ? He only gives handoffs to Kemba occasionally . Don't tell me the wings can't cut . Under .dunlap w no lane clogging .jefferson , Henderson and McRoberts worked a great two man game w a lot of cuts . He averaged 20 off cuts , curls and way more transition buckets . They go back door once a game bc McRoberts gets them the ball that way . Kemba can't hit cutters bc he's little , swarmed by taller defenders , can't see the play unfolding before it happens and has no ct vision . Any of these wings can finish and make a layup if they get the ball inside .His decision making is poor too . I agree he may not have much reason to drive n kick but he can't or refuses to dish inside to an open man after drawing two defenders . Again , if your man leaves you , you're open inside for a layup . Kemba is horrific w assists at the rim bc he's selfish .

I never said Kemba has no skills . In fact , I told you he was a brilliant sg . There's way too many good pt gds now . All taller , stronger , w great ct vision and way ahead of him on how to effectively run the pick n roll . He doesn't understand spacing , passing angles , timing bc he never waits for the screener to get fully in place . He's never once leaned on the screener to allow the play to unfold slowly . Kemba doesn't know where to go w the ball to get the correct separation from the roller to make the optimum pass . He's always thinking of shooting . There's no way you can't find the roller the few times he has unless it's by design . Clifford sat w him at the beginning of the yr . He wondered aloud why he couldn't run the pick n roll.. Deron . Lilliard . Paul . Rose . Rondo . Wall . Kyrie . Parker . Teague . Nelson .dragic . Burke . Lowry . . Bledsoe . Livy . Knight . Harden . Carter Williams . Smart . Exum . Can all run a team better than he can . Way better . Then you got the no. One pick that would take his spot in a ny second and kid from Kentucky and another one, I forget that Will all start next yr . That's 22 pt gds that can run a team way better who all are true pt gds .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 21, 2014 9:03:49 PM

If you guys want to get all jazzed up about a 5'10" chukking 2-guard playing out of position who isn't even in the top half of the league, well, go crazy... (#17)

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/statistics/_/position/pg

Boobs never win a playoff series with Shorty as a starter, write it down.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 21, 2014 9:08:39 PM

The knock was he couldn't pass . The defense was he had no one to pass to . Neal can shoot . Jefferson is tremendous inside . But his assist totals didnt tick up much . His assists at the rim never changed . This is the greatest stat to rate a pt gd . Period .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 21, 2014 9:09:19 PM

Did someone just say "under Dunlap" to make a point? Not that is hilarious.

11. Kemba Walker - Charlotte

"Though many people haven't spent much time watching Walker lead Charlotte, it's a sight that's definitely worth seeing. He's an offensive sparkplug who spent his third season in the Association figuring out how to put everything together, and now he's within sniffing distance of the true elites."

Posted by: Real | Aug 22, 2014 10:18:35 AM

Wow . Nastars . I'm not a stat guy but this is pretty much quite telling about shorty . He's below league average in a few of these key stats . Some of the pt gds on the list below him were injured , like Rondo and someone else so we know his true ranking is lower .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 22, 2014 10:36:11 AM

Obliviously the clown who listed Kemba just outside the elite ten didnt spend any time watching Charlotte . And neither could you have Real . Get real man .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 22, 2014 11:39:28 AM

Iron man some of your comments are unsupportable.

Al Jefferson: #10 in steals per game among qualifying centers and #17 in blocks. Those are not great but not bad statistics and he got them while having the very lowest fouls/48 minutes of any center, which is fantastic considering how important he is to the offense. He's #3 in defensive rebounds per game, which is great. Obviously he's no elite defensive center, but he's far from the worst.

Also, Big Al was the #5 center in assists per game and had the #5 assist/turnover figure, which is really good, so your criticism of his passing is wrong-headed.

R.e. Kemba he's a solid starting point guard who is very young and improving. He's not the best passing point guard, but his assist and assist/turnover numbers are decent - middle of the pack of qualified point guards. It will help a lot when he's paired with a shooting guard who can actually shoot! Last year he was rarely paired with Gary Neal, remember, 10-15 minutes per game for only 22 games.

Defensively, like Al, he's no elite defender, but he's not as bad as you make him out to be. Middle of the pack in steals, #3 in blocks, tied for #2 in defensive rebounding, and he's among the least foul-prone point guards out there, like Big Al he has the very lowest fouls/48 minutes of anyone at his position.

Kemba's shooting percentage is a real weakness: too low from taking contested shots, but that should improve as they have more shooters to pass to this year, combined with him still learning to actually drive and dish rather than drive and shoot. His three point shooting has steadily improved and I'd expect that to continue.

We have a ballpark #15 point-guard who is only 24 years old and no reason to think he's peaked. That is a heck of an asset and I would not go out of my way to try to replace him with someone higher on the list considering he's still improving and considering the pairing with Lance Stephenson who has some nice complementary talents at the shooting guard position: excellent passing, good shooting, excellent defense.

Kemba won't keep them from advancing in the playoffs. He won't carry them on his own, but who says you need an elite point guard carrying the team to win championships?

Posted by: Benjamin G | Aug 22, 2014 11:47:26 AM

What's the over/under on Looney Lance getting into a fist fight with a teammate?

Before training camp ends? First 20 games? Before all-star break?

It's coming folks, just a matter of when.

One thing the Boobs has going for them last year was a truly cohesive locker room....ol" Looney ain't gonna be good for business.

Has L.L. been spotted in Charlotte yet? He here working out with the other players?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Aug 22, 2014 3:59:27 PM

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