Charlotte Hornets: 4 keys to watch out for after All-Star break

Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Bismack Biyombo (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Improvement on the defensive end

It’s no secret that one of the Charlotte Hornets biggest weakness is their defense. Some night’s it’s good, but most night’s it’s either not good enough or just flat out poor.

Offensively, they are pretty good. They rank 14th in the league in offensive rating and have a great scoring duo of Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb. Plus, James Borrego has implemented a system that focuses so much on ball movement and three-point shooting.

Defense is the problem. Charlotte ranks 21st in the league in defensive rating, which is nowhere near where they want to be. An improved defense is going to be key during the home stretch of the regular season, especially with the tough schedule they have ahead of them.

The team does have some very good defenders in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo, but they need others to step up on that end of the floor.

Jeremy Lamb has the length to make a difference, Kemba Walker is a fighter despite his small size, but we just don’t see enough intensity on the defensive end from either of them. Cody Zeller is a good overall defender, but not a great rim protector, so when guards are getting past Walker and Lamb, they’re scoring at the rim with ease.

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Charlotte is giving up 48.2 paint points per game, which ranks 16th in the NBA.

If we don’t see an improvement on the defensive end, it’s going to be tough for the Hornets to keep up. Improving on that end must be a priority, and it’s something I’m definitely interested in watching post All-Star break.