Buzz City Beat: Charlotte Hornets Are a Bad Team, Poor Defense Ruining Playoff Hopes

Swarm and Sting have put together the latest and best stories from around the web surrounding the Charlotte Hornets here at Buzz City Beat.

The Charlotte Hornets are coming off of their fifth straight loss at the hands of the Boston Celtics. They will now return home for a five-game homestand as they attempt to turn things around. In this edition, we look at the Hornets being a bad team, Charlotte’s poor defense may ruin their playoff hopes, and Steve Clifford’s rotation conundrum.

Hornets Are a Bad Team

“There is no alternate way of putting this: The Charlotte Hornets are a bad basketball team right now. They miss wide-open shots. They blow defensive assignments. They aren’t tough, either mentally or physically. You can try to write off this five-game losing streak to a procession of road games, but that doesn’t cover the damage. They are 20-21, and in the famous words of football coach Bill Parcells, you are what your record says you are. That’s mediocre, at best.” (

Rick Bonnell put this perfectly. After each recent loss piled up, many of us tried to find an explanation or a reason as to why the Hornets were struggling. The fact of the matter is that they just aren’t a good team right now. That could change quickly but things are not looking positive in Buzz City at the moment. Hopefully, they can find a way to get back on track.

Poor Defense Ruining Playoff Hopes

“Not only has the slump temporarily knocked the Hornets out of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference entering Tuesday’s game– they are 20-21 and in ninth place at the halfway point of its schedule – but it’s also revealed issues that may or may not be fixable.” (

As I noted before, the Hornets’ defense is the worst that it’s been under Steve Clifford and the team’s defense, in terms of opponents points per game and defensive rating, has gotten worse each season since he’s arrived. If their poor defensive trend continues, Charlotte could have some trouble making the playoffs. As crazy as that sounds, it may be their reality. After starting the season with hopes of not only making the postseason but advancing past the first round, the team’s new objective must first be to fix where they are at now in order to simply get back into the playoff picture.

Coach Clifford’s Rotation Conundrum

“Clearly, the Hornets are better offensively with Hawes on the floor and it’s been important that Charlotte keep pace on the scoreboard with teams recently since the bench defense has been historically bad. That’s not to necessarily say that this defensive struggle is all on Hawes. It might suggest that it’s time for Clifford to become more creative with what starters he staggers with the second unit.” (

The Hawes vs Hibbert debate has been going on for some time now this season. In my opinion, Spencer deserves to play as the backup center but Clifford see’s things differently. One of two things will need to happen, either Roy needs to start playing a lot better or Coach Clifford needs to stop being so stubborn with rotation and mix things up or experiment a bit with the team as a whole. I suspect the latter is the better option for the Charlotte Hornets.

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