The Charlotte Hornets are one of the best teams in the league at taking care of the ball but there is a bigger reason why they must do that to be successful.
The Charlotte Hornets are the second best team in the NBA at not turning the ball over and that isn’t by accident. It is a focal point of Steve Clifford’s game plan and while it may go overlooked at times, it is the key reason why the team has been successful over the past few years. While some teams are careless on a nightly basis, the Hornets prioritize not committing turnovers.
Many may believe that some teams are just better than other at taking care of the ball but that is not the case for Charlotte under Coach Clifford. Their commitment to not turning the ball over is for a much bigger reason. ESPN analyst and commentator, Doug Collins, touched on this point when he covered the Hornets game against the San Antonio Spurs.
It is always good to limit turnovers but the main reason why the Queen City team must do this is because they don’t get easy points. It may sound strange but Charlotte doesn’t score easy buckets. They may get a few here and there but for the most part, they are near the bottom of the league in creating easy points and extra possessions.
For this reason, they must take care of the ball and value every possession they get because they likely won’t create extra ones from turning their opposition over or from offensive rebounds. The Hornets don’t get a lot of points off turnovers, they don’t get easy fast break baskets, and they don’t get second chance points, this is why taking care of the ball is a staple for the team.
While every team in the NBA wants to limit their amount of turnovers, the Charlotte Hornets succeed in that aspect. Since Steve Clifford took over in 2013, the team has been the best in the league in not committing turnovers every season for the past three years. That’s quite impressive The Detroit Pistons from 2005-2008 were the last team to complete this accomplishment. Charlotte may be able to do it once again this year as they are currently second in the league with only 11.9 turnovers per game. For whatever reason, the team doesn’t create easy points but they have found a way to be successful without them. Even though he
Charlotte may be able to do it once again this year as they are currently second in the league with only 11.9 turnovers per game. For whatever reason, the team doesn’t create easy points but they have found a way to be successful without them. Even though he is a relatively new head coach, Steve Clifford has proven that he is one of the best defensive minds in the league as well as one of the brighter coaches all-around. He has arguably brought the franchise back to relevancy in only three short seasons.
Taking a Look at the Stats:
Fast Break Points – 11.0 per game – 25th in the NBA
Points Off Turnovers – 14.4 per game – 24th in the NBA
Opponents Turnovers Per Game – 13.1 – 24th in the NBA
Second Chance Points – 12.4 per game – 19th in the NBA
Turnovers Per Game – 11.9 – 2nd in the NBA
Want your voice heard? Join the Swarm and Sting team!
Despite not playing the most entertaining form of basketball with fast breaks and easy points, the Charlotte Hornets have found their identity and niche by being a defensively tough team that doesn’t turn the ball over. Their pace may be slower than most would like but their style gets the job done and they have the results to show for it.
Steve Clifford and the Charlotte Hornets’ organization have collected a number of high IQ players that can take care of the ball and aren’t wild and reckless. Guards like Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Ramon Sessions, and Marco Belinelli are all players that don’t turn the ball over at a high rate. Kemba was before but he has developed into one of the best point guards in the NBA over the past few years and his ability to not turn the ball over has gotten better as well.
Whether people like this style of play or not, this is how the Charlotte Hornets are going to play and it’s how they are going to win. Credit to the team for putting such a good group of players and coaches together as well as finding the best game plan and sticking to it. They may not get easy points but they clearly make up for it with their possession and taking care of the ball.