The Charlotte Hornets opened their 2022-23 season tonight with a 129-102 road victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
What went right for the Charlotte Hornets?
Offense was humming – Against a team that many expect to be in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, the Hornets registered their largest season-opening margin of victory in franchise history. Charlotte was firing on all cylinders offensively, registering their second-most points in a season opener in team history. They were particularly effective in the first quarter, as their 38 points marked the most prolific scoring quarter in a season opener in team history. The Hornets utilized a balanced offensive attack, with seven different players scoring at least 12 points.
Big contributions from the bench – Nick Richards showed why Steve Clifford had been singing his praises of late, posting a career-high 19 points to go along with a career-high 10 rebounds. Richards also corralled eight offensive rebounds, which is tied for the second-most by a Charlotte player since the beginning of the 2018-19 season. He finished with a plus-minus of +28, tied with Dennis Smith Jr. for the second-best mark in the game behind only P.J. Washington.
Speaking of Smith Jr., the recently acquired point guard had a solid performance in his own right. He posted 12 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks while handling backup point guard minutes behind Terry Rozier. While it is unclear what the point guard rotation will look like once LaMelo Ball returns, Smith Jr. began making his case for a spot in the rotation with his performance tonight.
What went wrong for the Charlotte Hornets?
The injury bug bites again – Already without the aforementioned Ball, the Hornets lost Cody Martin to injury in the first quarter, less than a minute after Martin entered the game. His injury was later described as left quad soreness, and he did not return to the game.
What is next for the Charlotte Hornets?
Friday, October 21st – vs. New Orleans Pelicans (regular season home opener)