Charlotte Hornets: 4 takeaways from 2020-21 season

Charlotte Hornets LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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After finishing the 2020-21 NBA season with a 33-39 record (10th in the Eastern Conference), the Charlotte Hornets have a lot to work on in the offseason and look to come back stronger next season.

There is no question — the Hornets did not end the 2020-21 season on a high note. After an embarrassing 144-117 blowout to the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Play-In Tournament, every Hornets fan found themselves scratching their heads at how disappointing of an effort the team displayed in its most important game all season.

Coming off of a five-game losing streak to close the regular season, it was hard to believe that the Hornets were coming into the postseason with much confidence.  In the midst of the losing streak, they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans without Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, got blown out at home by the Los Angeles Clippers, fell apart in overtime against the New York Knicks, and blew an 11-point lead after the third quarter to the Washington Wizards in the regular season finale.

The most frustrating aspect of the losing streak was that the Hornets controlled their own destiny. One victory within those last five games would have clinched them the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference and they would have lived to see another day in the Play-In Tournament. Unfortunately, the assortment of injuries and adversity in the second half of the season caught up to Charlotte and the wheels completely fell off to close the season.

In the midst of a heartbreaking end to the season, it might be difficult for some to reflect on this season and see how promising this young group is. However, the Hornets exceeded expectations and should chalk this year up as a huge success.

Between battling key injuries for the majority of the year, losing Miles Bridges due to health and safety protocols in the last few weeks of the season, and an obvious need for frontcourt improvement, the Hornets had an uphill battle. Making it to the postseason is an absolute win and Charlotte should pat themselves on the back for making it there.

We learned a lot about the Hornets during the 2020-21 season. Here are four takeaways from such an up-and-down season.