The Charlotte Hornets entered the 2015-16 season with extremely low expectations after Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffered a season-ending injury during the preseason. Not even two months later, they've already soared past them all.
How are they doing it? Several reasons, but none might be more important than their bench. Here's more from Hornets.com:
Charlotte's second unit is averaging more points than all but three other bench groups in the league. That's impressive, especially considering they entered the year down one key starter.
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But guys like Jeremy Lin, Jeremy Lamb, Frank Kaminsky and Cody Zeller have all shined in various spots. They've been exactly what the Hornets didn't have last year.
So far during the 2015-16 NBA campaign, a major factor in the Hornets’ hot start to the season has been the depth and capabilities of their reserves. Right now, the Hornets are averaging 40.4 bench points per game, good for fourth-best amongst all teams in the NBA. The franchise record for single-season bench scoring is 40.1 set during the 1988-89 NBA season. Last year, Charlotte tied for 17th in the league in this category with 32.2 points. The Hornets have also outscored their opponents’ bench in 17 out of 23 games this season and are 11-6 when doing so.