Charlotte Hornets: Bridges promoted to starter, could be permanent

Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Charlotte Hornets rookie Miles Bridges was listed as a surprise starter on Friday night, and that’s something that fans may get used to.

So, I’m getting back into the swing of things after the All-Star break, sitting on my couch and get the news that Miles Bridges would be in the starting lineup for the Charlotte Hornets on Friday against Washington.

I was, like many, caught off guard from this decision by Borrego. I did not see it coming whatsoever, and at first, I didn’t like the decision at all.

However, after watching the game and thinking about it more and more, it does make sense and it’s a move that could be permanent.

Moving Lamb to the bench gives the team a legit sixth man, that will have no problem providing scoring off a bench that really need it. Bridges, meanwhile, brings more defensive versatility to the starting lineup.

It was the first start of Bridges’ career. The rookie from Michigan State ended up with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals in 29 minutes, and the Hornets came away with an important win over the Wizards.

Lamb, who had started every game prior to last night, finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four steals in just 22 minutes.

I think that Lamb is definitely a better player compared to Bridges, but with this roster as currently constructed, he may be better suited as a sixth man. He’ll be the go-to option off the bench and should pair nicely next to Tony Parker.

Like I mentioned earlier, Bridges would bring some much needed defense to the starting unit. Just last week, I wrote about moving Nicolas Batum to the bench in favor of a defensive player, like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Ultimately, Batum instead shifted over to the shooting guard position, which handed over the starting small forward spot to Bridges.

Batum, who has played a lot of shooting guard throughout his career, had arguably his best game of the season against Washington, going off for 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists to go with five three-point makes.

This move could be good for Batum as well. He’ll have to step up offensively and be more aggressive. He looked great against Washington, but it’s just one game, and the fans would love to see that from him on a consistent basis.

Things are trending upward for Bridges. The rookie just participated in the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Saturday Night, and he can now say that he has started in an NBA game. His development for the remainder of the season will be fun to watch.

Since this experiment went so well against the Wizards, I expect the Charlotte Hornets to continue starting Miles Bridges and bringing Jeremy Lamb off of the bench. It’s unclear if this move will stick permanently, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it does. It benefits both the starting and bench unit.

Next. Frank Kaminsky is better than you think. dark

The Hornets are back in action tonight against the Nets, looking for their second consecutive victory coming out of the All-Star break.