Charlotte Hornets: 5 Games that show hope for team’s future

Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges and James Borrego (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges and James Borrego (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
4 of 6
Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Willy Hernangomez (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

February 28th, Hornets vs. Raptors 99-96

Going into ‘Jurassic Park’ in February of 2020 and winning a game was not an easy feat for any team. The Raptors had won 17 of their last 20 games heading into this contest. Little did Nick Nurse and company know that the foil to their team’s potent offensive attack would be the Martin twins, among other young athletic wings.

A bright spot of Borrego’s coaching this season was his willingness to adapt and throw new looks at teams that are famous for scouting. It may not have been the prowess of Charlotte’s perimeter defense that caused the Raptors to crumble.

Rather, the uniqueness and versatility of a lineup consisting of the Martin brothers, Willy Hernangomez and Washington that caused stars Pascal Siakim and Lowry to shoot a combined 14-37 from the field.

Must Read. Using NBA 2K20 to finish the Charlotte Hornets’ 2019-20 season. light

Most importantly, the Hornets held the sixth-best three-point shooting team in the league to 23% from behind the arc. With many games becoming more focused on the ‘live and die by the three-ball’ mentality, it’s crucial for Charlotte to carry this type of defensive outing into next season.

As per usual in this list, any close Hornets win would not be complete without a clutch play from Graham.

With Charlotte holding a slim, one-point lead in crunch time, the hero of this Hornets season stepped to the free-throw line and calmly knocked down two free throws to essentially seal the win.

The clutch gene is a prime asset for any NBA player. In helping get the victory for his hometown team, Graham demonstrated that even when struggling, he can still contribute when it matters. He put up nine of his 18 points in a highly contested fourth quarter.