Charlotte Hornets: Dwayne Bacon reemerges as a key contributor

Charlotte Hornets Dwayne Bacon (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Dwayne Bacon (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

He began the season as a starter, and eventually found himself glued to the bench. Recently, Dwayne Bacon has come alive again for the Charlotte Hornets.

After losing so much talent during the off-season, Dwayne Bacon figured to be one of the main beneficiaries of extended playing time for the Charlotte Hornets during the 2019-20 season. He started for the first 10 games of the season, but was pulled due to his poor play, picked up the dreaded DNP-CD for six of the next ten games.

His poor play wasn’t the only factor, of course. The quite stunning and out-of-nowhere play of Devonte’ Graham has played a role in Bacon’s decreasing minutes. Graham won’t be leaving the starting unit anytime soon, so Bacon is limited to a bench role for the immediate future.

He was in-and-out of the rotation from that point up until about the turn of the new year. In the first four games of 2020, we’ve seen a rejuvenated Dwayne Bacon. He’s played an important role in Charlotte’s two wins to begin the new year.

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During this four-game stretch, Bacon has averaged 8.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 47 percent from the floor in 24.0 minutes. He’s come in off the bench and has given the Hornets a burst of energy.

On the season, Bacon’s averages are now up to 6.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 17.5 minutes per night.

I love what I’m seeing from Bacon right now. Earlier in the season, he tended to settle for jump-shots quite often. Right now, he’s putting his head down and getting to the rim (and finishing) more and more often. His aggressiveness has clearly changed after a slow start to the season.

With his new aggressive mindset, Bacon has played a lot better. He’ll continue seeing reserve minutes and will look to carve out a permanent role in the rotation playing behind the likes of Devonte’ Graham, Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges.

It was unfortunate to see Bacon’s rise fall so quickly. Coming off an impressive end to the season last year, he figured to be one of the better players on the roster this season. It hasn’t worked out, but the Hornets do still believe in him as a young piece to their core.

His upside is intriguing. Now, it’s all about consistency for him. He seems to be embracing his new role off the bench. If he keeps showing signs of development, maybe he will get his chance in the starting lineup once again at some point.

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Bacon and the Hornets are back in action tomorrow night again the hottest team in the league right now, the Utah Jazz. It’s going to be a tough game in one of the most difficult arenas to play in, but we’ll see if Bacon can continue his strong play going into Salt Lake City.