Can the Charlotte Hornets Overcome Their Struggles Away From Home?
The Charlotte Hornets’ road struggles have plagued them all season but history may be on their side in overcoming their poor form away from home.
A big reason why the Charlotte Hornets are underachieving this season is because of their poor play away from home. They are only 8-13 on the road after starting the year 6-3 outside of the Queen City. The struggles are clear but can this team overcome them going forward?
When taking a closer look at their road games this season, the Hornets’ struggles look even worse. They have lost four straight games away from home twice so far this year. It also hasn’t been getting better with time as they have dropped five consecutive and are 3-10 in their last 13.
I’ve said this before the mark of a good team in the NBA is their ability to win games on the road. Last season the Hornets were only 18-23 away from home but that wasn’t a big deal because they were so dominating at The Hive going 30-11. This year is a different story because they are already 12-7 meaning they have lost almost as many games as last season in a lot fewer games.
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The team was looking to replicate the success that they had last season but with struggles both at home and on the road, it has been tough to do. Charlotte has dropped a number of bad games away from the Spectrum Center with losses to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks, and the New Orleans Pelicans.
In this league, a drop in performance on the road is expected. The most telling stats when comparing the team’s play at home and on the road is their turnovers per game and opponents points per game. At home, they are only averaging 11.3 turnovers per game which are the best in the NBA but on the road, they are averaging 12.7. Also, their opponents average only 102 points in Charlotte but that number goes up to 105.7 this season when the Hornets are away from home. (NBA.com)
Despite their struggles outside of North Carolina, there is still time for the team to turn things around and there is some hope for them. 10 of their losses on the road have come by less than 10 points and five of them have been within five points. This means that they have lost close games that could have gone either way. If they could have won those close outings, they could easily be above .500 away from home.
Going forward, they will need to find a way to come out on top in those tight affairs. Winning on the road is never easy in the NBA but by at least going .500 or close to it away from home, the Hornets would greatly help their chances of obtaining a top four seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Charlotte Hornets haven’t had a winning record on the road since the 2001-02 season. They have made the playoffs two of the last three years with a losing record away from home. So while they might not be a great team outside of Charlotte, they have still found ways to win enough games to make it into the postseason. They have a recent history of overcoming their poor play on the road and there isn’t any reason to think that this year will be different. Although, only time will tell.
Despite their poor form away from home, they are still only 8-13 and a good road trip could easily turn their fortunes around. They also haven’t played horribly on the road, they have lost a lot of games, but they aren’t playing as bad as a lot of other teams have. It might not look good now but I will give this team the benefit of the doubt to figure things out this season.