Charlotte Hornets: Embrace the Chaos

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Thursday, February 19th, 2015 – a day that will forever live in NBA infamy. 11 different teams traded 37 different players in a matter of a couple of hours. It was absolute chaos among NBA front offices.

Well, everywhere except in Charlotte, where the Hornets were calmly admiring their team and the work they had done prior to the All-Star break in acquiring veteran point guard Mo Williams.

It was a fine move at the time, and as Chris Piemonte explained, sitting out on Thursday was the smart thing to do.

Nevertheless, it is time for Charlotte to embrace the chaos that engulfed the NBA world, and accept the challenge of playing in a much improved and very different Eastern Conference.

Miami Heat Acquire Goran Dragic

As a quick recap, Goran Dragic, formerly of the Phoenix Suns and third team all-NBA guard last year, was traded to the Miami Heat. Miami now sports a rather scary starting lineup in Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, and Hassan Whiteside.

Unfortunately for the Heat, there is some question as to whether Bosh will play again this season as doctors believe he may have a blood clot in his lungs. That would be a big blow to the Heat, but Bosh’s exact status and condition is still unknown.

With or without Bosh, the addition of Dragic to Miami makes them a better team. Dragic is an attacking guard who makes his teammates better. He is dynamite in transition and is one of the best finishers around the rim in the entire league.

He may not be LeBron James, but he is the next best thing and a perfect fit for that team. Dragic is expected to sign a long term deal with Miami this summer, so Charlotte will have to face the Dragon for years to come.

Detroit Pistons Acquire Reggie Jackson

This move was a surprise. At the last moment, Reggie Jackson pulled a Goran Dragic and demanded a trade over his role with the team. Jackson wants his own team, and Detroit needed a point guard for the stretch run, with Brandon Jennings out for the season.

The addition of Jackson puts the Pistons right back into the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Remember, it was not that long ago that these Pistons demolished the Hornets. The addition of Jackson gives Detroit a playmaking guard to compliment their bruising front line.

Like Dragic, Jackson is a free agent at the end of the year. However, unlike the Dragon, Jackson is a restricted free agent, so the Pistons will be able to match any offer. It is unknown what Stan Van Gundy’s plan for Jackson in the long term, with Jennings still on the roster.

Regardless, he adds some much needed talent to the Piston back court.

Boston Celtics Acquire Isaiah Thomas

Yes, yet another team fighting for those last two playoffs spots in the East acquired a quality guard. The Boston Celtics, who traded Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks earlier this year, were in need of a point guard, and so they hooked up with the Phoenix Suns in a deal for the disgruntled Isaiah Thomas.

Thomas is a on team friendly four year contract, and is a lightning bug who can score effortlessly. The guy shoots 39% from beyond the arc, and last year he scored over 20 points per 36 minutes.

The dude can put the ball in the basket, and the Celtics needed a guard who can add some offense.

Back To The Hornets

So where does that leave Charlotte? The Hornets are currently in the seventh spot in the playoff standings, tied with the Miami Heat, although they do own the tiebreaker. Meanwhile the Celtics sit one and a half games back, while the Pistons are two games back.

The Hornets need to ignore those teams and concentrate on their own play. They made their own quality move in getting Mo Williams, a clear upgrade over the Brian Roberts/Gary Neal/Lance Stephenson playmaker trio.

The team is getting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back from a strained hamstring. Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo should also be back in a few weeks.

Steve Clifford told the media that he expects Walker back sometime around March 16th.

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With the players coming back from injury, and the addition of Williams, this team needs to embrace the chaos. Embrace the challenge of no longer playing in what many thought to be the worst collection of teams to ever grace the Eastern Conference.

This team should accept the challenge, enjoy the adversity that comes with your rivals gunning for your spot in the standings. It is no longer a cakewalk into the playoffs, this will be tough.

And we know this team likes it that way. No team in the NBA wins with more toughness and grit than the Charlotte Hornets. They like to get physical with the opposition, lock down on defense, and grind the other team down.

Nothing has changes for the Hornets. They can still win that way. They can still make the playoffs. Sure, it will no longer be easy, but that will make Charlotte’s victory that much sweeter knowing how difficult the road was.

This team has already overcome so much this season, this is just another bump along the playoff road. And we know the Hornets’ players do not mind a bumpy road.

Next: Hornets Winning With Team Basketball

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