The season took a left turn before it even started, dating back to early in the offseason. Miles Bridges whether you condemn him or not, ‘put a wrench in the gears’ moving forward. Bridges was the leading scorer on the team along with possessing rare athletic talent on both sides of the ball.
The Charlotte Hornets have been searching for piece to fill that void without him or at least adjust to the new situation. The team has barely had any continuity with scattered injuries to key players like LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward and Kelly Oubre Jr. thus far which isn’t helping matters.
Ball missed the first month of the season which only compounded the absence of Bridges from the lineup. This week in fact, was the first time that the planned starters made it onto the court together versus the Miami Heat. The spunky Hornets have won their last four of six games with their new-found roster consistency.
With all optimism, there still is no doubt that there is much to be done. There have been talks quietly going on regarding the potential reinstatement of Bridges but take that off the table for the moment.
What the roster really is missing is a baseline slasher. A trade for a player of this mold would benefit the current roster makeup along with hopefully acquiring a strong enforcer in the middle. Mason Plumlee, who is actually having a greatly improved year so far, is unlikely to remain the starter at center long term.
Mark Williams should continue to progress through his rookie season and learn the NBA game. The rookie center is only averaging around fourteen minutes a game but his per 36 stat lines project Williams averaging a double-double this year. The Hornets should capitalize on Plumlee’s success this year, allowing them higher leverage in trade talks with other teams.
The team is starting to get on the right path, simply put. The season thus far has been disappointing to say the least. With that being said, this writer is seeing improvement, but will it be on track to make a push for the playoffs? We shall see.
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