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.
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.
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.