Charlotte Hornets: Five intriguing lineup combinations

LaMelo Ball, Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball, Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Identifying five intriguing lineup combinations on past Charlotte Hornets teams would have been a chore. In fact, it would have been easier to find the lineups best-equipped to improve the Hornets draft lottery odds. But things have changed in Charlotte, and after a profusion of offseason additions, head coach James Borrego has the privilege this season of tinkering with legitimately talented lineups in search of the best five-man squads.

This article is here to make Borrego’s life a little easier by suggesting rotations that I think the Hornets should test out through the year, and maybe even one for beyond this year. Perhaps more importantly, I also brainstormed nicknames for each lineup. Feel free to call me if you have any questions, JB.

As Swarm and Sting’s own Dylan Jackson wrote about last week, the Hornets will likely roll out a starting lineup of LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, and Mason Plumlee. Those five bring a surplus of playmaking on offense and should be able to produce near league-average defensive metrics.

A great head coach can adjust on the fly though, thus why I am proposing five potential lineups the Hornets should use throughout games. Y’all are going to have to bear with me, because these ideas may get kind of zany with how many new options we now have.

Remember, these are merely hypothetical lineups that I think can provide the Hornets unique advantages, so please don’t flood my Twitter mentions if you think they’re the dumbest things you’ve ever seen. Or do. That would actually make me feel like a real writer.

Hot. LaMelo Ball is Charlotte's biggest star. light

First Lineup: LaMelo Ball, James Bouknight, Kelly Oubre Jr, Miles Bridges, Kai Jones

Nickname Idea: “Alley-Oops Only” or “Just Throw It Up There Lamelo, Somebody Will Catch It”

I was kidding around with the name “alley-oops only”, but the more I thought about it, how does a team defend just alley-oops? I guess they could just put all five defenders super close to the basket and make the Hornets run a half-court offense every possession. That would surely make things harder. However, what if the opposing team can’t force Charlotte into a half-court set, and this group gets to running in transition every time down the floor?

With Ball leading the charge, flanked by four outrageous athletes, the Hornets might be unstoppable, especially considering that each of the four alley-oop options has highlight dunk capability. “Alley-Oops Only” is like the modern version of Phil Jackson’s triangle. Try it, JB. Just one time. For me.

Alley-oops aside, this is the definition of an up-tempo lineup, and one could go out on a limb and say it could be one of the best offensive transition groups in the league, spearheaded by Ball’s creativity on the break. I think they could do some fun things if Borrego allows them to get out and run. They might also produce a defensive rating around 200. Give and take, I suppose.