Five Things We Learned About The Charlotte Hornets

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Jan 21, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward center Bismack Biyombo (8) grabs a rebound during the second half against the Miami Heat at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Hornets won 78-76. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Bismack Biyombo is considered by most to be a bust. A lottery pick now relegated to back-up duty on a team that cannot make the playoffs in the dreadful Eastern Conference. However, when you look at the numbers, you see that Biyombo is more a victim of expectations and reputation than anything else. I wrote earlier about how Biyombo compared favorably with Kenneth Faried, of the Denver Nuggets.

But while Faried is getting a contract extension, Biyombo is considered a failure simply because he was taken several spots before the Denver forward.

Biyombo is an excellent shot blocker and defender, and he averages 12 rebounds per 36 minutes, according to Three blocks and 12 rebounds per 36 minutes is exactly what you would expect from a defensive presence in the paint, but Biyombo can also score inside.

He shoots 55.2% overall, but hits over 68% when within three feet of the basket. That is a very good number, as Al Jefferson made only 63.9% in the same range. If you can accept that Biyombo will never post-up an opposing player or hit a 15 foot jumper, then he becomes an exceptional inside player.

The Hornets and their fans are disappointed in the lack of development by Biyombo, but his scoring average per 36 minutes has increased in each of the last two seasons, and his free throw percentage has gone all the way up to 58%. While still bad, considering that he shot 48% his rookie season, there is hope that he can still develop a serviceable outside shot.

If he ever did develop a 15 foot jump shot, then Biyombo would move from defensive presence but offensive liability into a true all-star candidate. Even now, as your third big man, the first off the bench, he is far above what you might find in free agency.

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