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) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

January 4th, Hornets vs. Mavericks 123-120 OT

In one of the most purely entertaining matchups of the season, the Hornets pulled out a gritty win in front of a rabid Dallas crowd. Charlotte’s two-headed attack of Graham and Terry Rozier combined for 56 points in this overtime thriller.

This was by no means a perfect game for Borrego’s squad. Similar to all rebuilding teams, mistakes were noticeable. Charlotte’s young perimeter defense collapsed during the third quarter.

Most notably, Luka Doncic notched a 39 point triple-double that night. However, the Mavericks offense was potent throughout the season, and Doncic was lighting it up offensively on a nightly basis.

Two weeks after this, he would go on to drop a 36 point near triple-double against the Clippers’ tenacious defense. The adversity was bound to come in this game; it is the response to it that was commendable from Charlotte’s perspective.

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Two defensive possessions stand out from this game. Bridges’ contest of Doncic’s potential game-winner in regulation was flawless. The Slovenian native’s step-back has caused some of the league’s best defenders to stumble.

Bridges’ athleticism proved superior in this pivotal situation. Furthermore, being down three with less than 30 seconds left in overtime, the Mavericks needed a three. Charlotte’s lockdown perimeter defense was superb in this instance. Hats off to P.J. Washington, who smartly sacrificed a lane to the rim, knowing the game would turn into a free throw contest in that situation.

Crunch time saw a beautiful team effort from a young Hornets squad. All five players on the court contributed buckets in overtime. The most important shot of the night came from Rozier off of an impressive pass from Bridges.

The kids’ cool composure saw Dallas’ fans leave unhappy and a boost in morale heading into a crucial stretch in the schedule.