Buzz City Beat: Charlotte Hornets eliminated from playoff contention, Kemba Walker’s goals

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 22: Kemba Walker
CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 22: Kemba Walker /
facebooktwitterreddit

Buzz City Beat is Swarm and Sting’s one stop for the latest news and stories from around the web about the Charlotte Hornets.

John Wall is set to return with no minutes restriction for the Washington Wizards in their game against the Charlotte Hornets. It will be his first game since January 25th. In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at Charlotte being eliminated from playoff contention, Kemba Walker‘s goals with the Hornets and Willy Hernangomez planning to spend the summer in Spain.

Charlotte eliminated from playoff contention (Twitter/ @KeithSmithNBA)

"With the Milwaukee Bucks win last night, the Charlotte Hornets have been eliminated from playoff contention."

For the third consecutive season, the Hornets will not be playing playoff basketball and will finish will a record below .500. Charlotte kept hope alive for a bit but have now been eliminated with six games left in the season. After the high hopes that surrounded the team before the start of the campaign, this is a very disappointing ending.

The bright side is that the Hornets have a 3% chance of getting a top-three pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. While just about every playoff spot in the East is essentially locked up, the Western Conference is wide open with just a few games remaining. The fact of the matter is that for the final week and half of the regular season, Charlotte will be playing in meaningless games. Maybe the rookies and end of the bench players will get more playing time.

Kemba Walker’s goals with the Hornets (Twitter/ @Kroeger)

".@KembaWalker on what Charlotte means to him: “It’s been an amazing ride. Definitely more to come. Hopefully I can help this franchise and this city to make a deep playoff run and make it really fun to watch. That’s definitely one of my goals.”"

Kemba is a winner. Period. After winning an NCAA Title in college, he hasn’t had anywhere near that same level of success in the NBA. In fact, he’s only made the playoffs twice in his seven seasons in the league and has finished with an under .500 record on five occasions. Both times that he made the postseason with Charlotte, they were eliminated in the first round.

It’s clear that Walker wants to win and at the very least, get out of the opening round of the playoffs. The most telling part of this quote is that it once again seems like Kemba wants to stay with the Hornets and would rather win in the Queen City than anywhere else. At only 27-years old, there is definitely still a lot more to come for the two-time all-star.

Hernangomez plans to spend the off-season in Spain (CharlotteObserver.com)

"Hernangomez plans to spend most of the summer in Spain, but he’ll depart with a detailed off-season plan and assistant coaches will be dispatched overseas to monitor his progress. He’ll work on extending his shooting range, and getting stronger and quicker."

It’s good that Willy is going to spend the summer in his home country. It’s even better that he will still be training overseas and that the Hornets are going to keep track of his development and off-season work. This is an important summer for Hernangomez as he could be a vital role player for Charlotte next season depending on what moves are made by the new general manager.

Next: Ranking the Hornets last eight first-round picks

Hopefully, he is serious about getting better and uses this summer to grow his game. While improving his shooting range is important, strength and quickness will be the keys for him to become a better defender which is the part of his game that needs the most work. This should be a good move for the Spanish big man.