Charlotte Hornets Desperately Need Something Different
The Charlotte Hornets are falling apart and while the team has some strong pieces, it is clear that they need something to change.
The Charlotte Hornets have lost five straight, seven of their last eight, and are under .500 (20-21) for the field time since February 8th of last season when they were 26-26. Charlotte’s ship is sinking while Steve Clifford and company aren’t doing anything to help save it at the moment. I’m not saying the team is losing games on purpose. They are fighting but the simple fact is that they aren’t as good as we thought
They are fighting but the simple fact is that they aren’t as good as we thought they were before the season started. Were expectations too high after losing so many key pieces? Probably but I still believe that this Hornet’ squad has what it takes to make it past the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
As the days and games go by, that becomes less and less evident. The consistency that once carried this team to the heights of a 48-win season is gone. They are in need of something new, a change, something different than what they are used to. Whether it be a trade, a free agent signing, a D-League call-up, or a rotation/lineup change, this team needs it.
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Rich Cho is a master of deadline deals as we saw last year when the Courtney Lee trade totally rejuvenated the Hornets. There aren’t many available free agents that Charlotte could sign that would offer an immediate impact but they do have some talented young players in the D-League with the Greensboro Swarm with the likes of Christian Wood, Archie Goodwin, and Xavier Munford.
The biggest and clearest problem is Steve Clifford’s game plan and stubbornness to change. Unless a player is injured or shows no effort on the defensive end, then they will get consistent minutes under Coach Clifford. He continues to stick with the same rotation of players even when it isn’t working.
Take Roy Hibbert for example. Spencer Hawes has clearly been the better backup center for the Hornets this season yet Roy, who can barely move with any quickness on the court, continues to man that role while Spencer rides the bench and receives a “DNP – Coaches Decision” most nights.
Not only that but his rotations and attempt to stagger Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum and the rest of the starters’ minutes has remained the same. If something is broke, which the Hornets clearly are, then something must be done to fix it. The longer that the organization or Steve Clifford sits idly by, the worse this will eventually get.
Even with his downfalls, Clifford is still a great coach and one of the better ones in the NBA but his stubbornness to change is holding not only him but the team back as well. He needs to try experimenting with the rotation and players minutes. All of the great coaches make changes when needed whether it be in games or on off days. Change is the only constant in this world and the Hornets need a heavy dose of it.
It’s hard to pinpoint one major thing that they can change to get better but anything is better than just doing the same thing over and over every game and continuing to fail and lose games like Charlotte currently are.
Like I said before, I still have a lot of hope in this Charlotte Hornets’ team but at their current rate, they aren’t going to be successful. Consistency has been key for them over the past couple of season but sometimes changing up the rotation/roster is the easiest way to get the best out of players. I expect big changes if the team doesn’t round into shape soon.