Charlotte Hornets need 3 things to become a legitimate playoff team

Terry Rozier, LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Terry Rozier, LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

When you’re top three in scoring, 3PT percentage, assists, and field goals made; it is reasonable to assume your team would be one of the legitimate playoff teams in the NBA. That would be a correct assumption unless you are discussing the Charlotte Hornets.

The Hornets are undoubtedly great on the offensive end, but because of their defensive struggles, there is not a team in the league that truly fears what Charlotte brings to the table. However, I am here to tell you three surefire ways to make the Hornets a playoff team that no top-four seed will want to face in the first round of this year’s playoffs.

3 Things Charlotte need to become a legit playoff team: Stop Allowing Efficient/Open 3PT Attempts

The Hornets have allowed teams to shoot 35.8% from 3PT land, the 22nd worst mark in the league. What is even more concerning is how many of those looks have been wide open with no defender in sight. Not only are teams shooting an efficient percentage from the 3PT line, but Charlotte also is allowing 14.3 makes per game, a league-worst in that category.

By running teams off of the 3PT line and making the other shots more difficult, the Hornets could easily turn their defensive woes into a much smaller problem. It would not turn them into a juggernaut by any means, but it is certainly the easiest and most obtainable option of the three.

3 Things Charlotte need to become a legit playoff team: Find a Quality Starting Center

Charlotte has been without a competent center all season, and it has shown mightily. The Hornets are a bottom 5 defensive rebounding team, and this problem is not going to go away without some personnel change at the center position. The most popular name has been Myles Turner, but as we get closer to the trade deadline, this seems like a long shot.

The next best option could be New York Knicks big man, Mitchell Robinson. Being in the final year of his contract, this trade could bring in huge upside with little downside, depending on what Charlotte would have to trade away to get him. Having Robinson would certainly be an upgrade over Mason Plumlee, and if it does not turn out to be a long-term fix, the Hornets can regroup in free agency and try again.

3 Things Charlotte need to become a legit playoff team: Make the Playoffs, Get Experience, Grow Up

This suggestion does not provide an immediate answer for the Hornets, but it is essential it happens this postseason. The Hornets have youth, promising potential, and are truly terrifying on the offensive end of the floor; if they do not make the playoffs this year, that youth could turn into a much bigger issue.

It will immediately delay the Hornet’s chances of making a run in the playoffs by at least one year, and it could turn into a lack of trust in the organization as a whole. There is no excuse for missing the playoffs this season, and anything short of a play-in birth would be an utter disappointment.

It also goes beyond just making the playoffs; the intensity, slower pace, and physicality of a first-round matchup can be a wake-up call for this young squad that could prove to be very beneficial in the long run. Without playoff experience, these defensive woes will likely continue well into next season.

The Charlotte Hornets are a very promising young squad, but these issues listed above are very real, and they need to be addressed as soon as possible. They could make the playoffs with this team, but given their inconsistency, it is just as probable that they are watching the first round from home.

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For all basketball fans, it would be a disappointment to have this team sent home earlier than anticipated, but with some notable defensive adjustments, this can be avoided. You’ve been given the answer Charlotte… Let’s make it happen!