Charlotte Hornets: Let’s show Dwayne Bacon some love

Charlotte Hornets Dwayne Bacon (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Dwayne Bacon (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

While Kemba Walker is currently the talk of Charlotte Hornets basketball, and rightfully so, Dwayne Bacon was also a standout from Saturday’s loss to Philadelphia.

Lost in the aftermath of Kemba Walker‘s 60 point explosion against the Philadelphia 76ers was the solid play from second-year pro Dwayne Bacon, who came off the bench and provided the Charlotte Hornets with some real good minutes.

In fact, I’d say that Bacon was the second best player on the floor for the Hornets. He, along with Kemba, of course, and Jeremy Lamb were the three clear standouts from a heartbreaking Hornets loss.

Bacon played 29 minutes in the loss, going for nine points (4-10 FG, 1-3 3PT) and six rebounds. He was on the court for the majority of the fourth quarter and all of the overtime period.

The fact that Bacon was on the floor late in the game over an important starter like Nicolas Batum says a lot. Bacon, who attended Florida State University, is only 23 years old, and has some enormous upside.

He was very active on the glass, made some timely buckets and played some pretty solid defense. As my Swarm and Sting colleague Giovanni Spillman talked about in his most recent article, Bacon deserves some more playing time moving forward, especially with the poor play of Nicolas Batum and the injury to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

In eight games this season, Bacon is averaging 5.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in just 12.0 minutes. Per 36 minutes, those stats bump up to 16.9 points and 4.9 rebounds. He also shoots the ball well, sporting percentages of 51 percent from the floor, 50 percent from three-point land and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

Looking at Nicolas Batum’s per 36 minutes stats, he has averages of 10.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He’ll give you better all-around play than Bacon, but Bacon does have the aggressiveness on both sides of the ball that Batum lacks.

Aggressiveness is something that I feel the Hornets lack in the starting lineup, aside from the back court duo of Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb. Batum is very passive and hesitant to take shots. Being unselfish is great, but you don’t want to be TOO unselfish, right? He needs to look for his shot more often and take some pressure off of the back court.

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The Charlotte Hornets have a deep bench, so it’s hard to get Bacon in the rotation when the team is fully healthy. Regardless, James Borrego is going to need to find some minutes for this man, because he can play, and he’s shown glimpses of what he is capable of doing on a nightly basis in his short career thus far.