I’ll begin by saying I’ve never been more excited to watch a summer league game. It’s been twelve long years since the Hornets have played in Charlotte and it feels like all is right in the basketball world watching the purple and teal run up and down the court. Just a few minutes into this game, however, it was reminiscent of that 7-59 debacle of two years ago that made the Bobcats the laughing stock of the NBA. Don’t worry though, it’s just a summer league game that’s more of a learning experience for our two prized rookies.
Boy-oh-boy do I hope they learned a few things tonight. Going a combined 2-29, Vonleh and Hairston showed they both have a lot of work to do before we can rely on them to be difference makers. Vonleh finished with 0 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 fouls in 32 minutes while Hairston finished with 7 points(1-10 3pt) and 1 rebound in 30 minutes played. These two have at least four more summer league games to play and I fully expect them to bounce back, especially with the return of sophomore Cody Zeller who missed the game while attending his brothers wedding.
On a positive note, Vonleh did manage 3 blocks.
And I most certainly believe his defensive prowess will be felt on the court as long as he learns to stay out of foul trouble. I’ll give PJ a pass this game (he’s earned it right??) because I’m sure a lot of his off court issues played a role as well as nerves, but he managed to rack up 0 assists. One of the on court worries with Hairston is his ability to create shots for teammates. Let’s just hope when he shares the backcourt with Kemba, he manages to grow in this area of his game. Texas Legends PG Mickey McConnell managed a decent game on 8-14 shooting, leading the Hornets with 19 points and San Diego St. rookie Josh Davis pulled down 15 boards.
This game left a sour taste in my mouth and a lot to be desired, but it’s only July 11th and there’s plenty of time for these youngsters to learn from their mistakes and grow. With the possibility that prized free agent Gordon Hayward is in the purple and teal this coming season and the hopes that we can compete for a division title, we need all the improvement we can get.
About the author: My name is Aaron Bumgarner and being originally from North Carolina, I’ve been a Charlotte Hornets fan since I could walk. While I love all major American sports, basketball has always been my first love. I moved to Charlotte four years ago and attend as many games as I can fit in my schedule. I also work at a bar just beside TWC arena so I get to watch the games at work and talk basketball all night. If you find yourself in the epicentre on a game night, stop by Mortimer’s Pub and Café and we can discuss all things Hornets!!