Monday, 22 Jul 2024

2022-23 Season Preview: Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets are heading into the 2022-23 NBA season with high hopes after three consecutive seasons of improvement under the leadership of coach James Borrego. Despite falling short in the Play-In Tournament last season, the team’s young core showed promise, prompting General Manager Mitch Kupchak to make a change in coaching staff to further accelerate their development.

Kupchak’s search led him back to former coach Steve Clifford, who had previously been fired, to guide a team that remains largely intact from last season, with the exception of Miles Bridges and Montrezl Harrell. The Hornets also made some roster additions, including re-signing defensive standout Cody Martin and selecting center Mark Williams from Duke in the draft.

While the firing of Borrego was a significant offseason move, the Hornets faced a major setback with Bridges’ legal issues, which affected their plans for the summer. However, the team remains determined to make a push for the postseason, relying on the continued growth of their young players and Clifford’s defensive expertise.

The biggest question surrounding the Hornets heading into the season is whether their young players, including rising star LaMelo Ball, James Bouknight, and Cody Martin, can elevate their games to the next level. Additionally, the team will rely on veterans such as Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward to provide steady contributions. With a roster that is largely unchanged from last season, the Hornets will need their players to step up their performance in order to meet their postseason aspirations.

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Despite the potential for improvement, the Hornets may fall short of their own expectations this season. The team was unable to make significant additions to their roster due to Bridges’ legal situation, while other teams in their division, such as the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic, made notable improvements. While the Hornets are not expected to be a lottery team, it is unlikely that they will secure a direct playoff spot. A play-in tournament appearance seems to be a realistic projection for the team.

Terry Rozier led the league in corner 3-pointers made last season, highlighting his ability as a reliable shooter. His success in this area of the game will be crucial for the Hornets, as it provides them with valuable floor spacing and scoring opportunities. Rozier’s shooting prowess from the corners has been a significant asset for the team, and it will be interesting to see if he can continue this success in the upcoming season.

  • LaMelo Ball: The young point guard, coming off an impressive sophomore season, will be a key playmaker for the Hornets.
  • Terry Rozier: With Bridges potentially unavailable, Rozier’s scoring will be vital for the team’s success.
  • Gordon Hayward: The health of Hayward will be a major factor for the Hornets, as his absence has impacted the team in the past.
  • P.J. Washington: Known for his defensive improvements, Washington is focused on refining his ball-handling and finishing skills.
  • Mason Plumlee: As the oldest player on the roster, Plumlee brings experience and efficiency to the team.
  • James Bouknight: The rookie guard, selected 11th overall in the 2021 draft, is expected to have a more prominent role this season.
  • Cody Martin: Known for his defensive abilities, Martin will need to continue to improve his shooting to provide valuable contributions.
  • Kelly Oubre Jr.: Oubre Jr. has shown flashes of scoring prowess off the bench and can provide an offensive boost for the team.
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Here is a breakdown of how the Hornets have performed statistically over the past five seasons:

  • OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions
  • DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions
  • NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions

In summary, the Charlotte Hornets are entering the 2022-23 season with a talented roster and high aspirations. With the guidance of coach Steve Clifford and the continued development of their young players, the team hopes to compete for a spot in the postseason. While challenges and uncertainties remain, the Hornets are focused on making their mark in the highly competitive NBA landscape.

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