Charlotte Hornets' Preseason Shooting Struggles; Is it Too Early to Panic?

The Charlotte Hornets are having one of the worst shooting performances in the league this preseason but is it still too early to panic?

After a great shooting season last year that saw the Charlotte Hornets jump to near the top of the league, they are struggling to find their stroke in the preseason. Their poor outside shooting may leave many wondering if a regression is to be expected this season. Has the team actually lost their shooting touch or is it nothing more than a preseason anomaly?

The Hornets are currently the second worst shooting team that has participated in an NBA preseason game this year and are tied for the worst shooting side in the league. The only team worse than them so far is Maccabi Haifa, a European club who have only played in one game. The team’s tied with the Milwaukee Bucks in terms of field goal percentage as both are at the basement of the NBA.

The Queen City Team’s shooting only 38.8% from the field and an abysmal 23.3% from the three-point line in their first five preseason games this year. No one expected this type of regression after the great shooting season that the team had in 2015-16. With the inconsistent success of the franchise, I think fans have every reason to panic.

While I think it’s okay to be worried, I also think that it is still too early to fear a complete downfall. The team may have lost plenty of outside shooting threats this offseason in Jeremy Lin, Troy Daniels, and Courtney Lee but they also added some good shooters who are still getting used to their new organization. These exhibition games are a time where Steve Clifford’s trying to find rotations that work well together and get players jelling.

The Charlotte Hornets may have only shot 43.9% from the field last season, which was  fourth worst in the league, but their bread and butter was from behind the arc. They were the seventh best three-point shooting team at 36.2% from long-range. They only trailed the likes of the Golden State Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs, the Chicago Bulls, the Portland Trailblazers, the Toronto Raptors, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

It was only two short years ago in the 2014-15 season when the Hornets were arguably the worst shooting team in the NBA. They shot 42% from the field, which was second worst in the NBA, and a league-low 31.8% from the three-point line. They improved their long-range shooting by almost 5% from two seasons ago to last year. That kind of improvement is almost unheard of.

The impressive jump that Charlotte made from 2014-15 to 2015-16 was surprising to say the least but hopefully there isn’t a similar surprise with regression this year. In the preseason, over half the team’s shooting under 50% from the field and only two players (Treveon Graham and Nicolas Batum) are shooting over 40% from three. The numbers aren’t encouraging for the Hornets and quite frankly, they should cause some panic but preseason play should only be taken with a grain of salt.

The Charlotte Hornets may struggle once the regular season begins but that is when we should start to worry and judge their performances. It’s still too early to panic and while the struggles are unsettling, just remember that these are meaningless games that are only meant to prepare teams and players for the season ahead. They are still a good team who had plenty of success last season and their hopeful future shouldn’t be overlooked because of a few exhibition games.

This article originally appeared on

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