The Charlotte Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls, but …

Steve Clifford, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Steve Clifford, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Hello, Charlotte Hornets fans. By the time you are reading this, the Charlotte Hornets have defeated the Chicago Bulls in a midweek matchup. Now, part of the fanbase wants the team to do their best, and part of the fanbase wants the team to tank for the number one pick.

Where do I stand in terms of an opinion? Well, I was actively blogging about the Charlotte Bobcats during their 7-win season, when the worst record in the league got us the number two pick. I am also old enough to remember when we landed the number 1 pick and got Larry Johnson, and then the next season we had the number two pick and we drafted Alonzo Mourning. Basically, I do not have a particular stance on the matter.

It does not really matter what the Hornets do for the rest of the season in terms of tanking or competing, because at the end of the day, it is a draft lottery, behind closed doors, with the results being something that continues with picking the “best talent available”.

As for that game, I sat and watched every minute. As many missed layups as there were in the first two quarters, we fully looked to be in tank-mode. Also, the stretch in the 2nd quarter where we were 1/15 from three-point range was horrendous; when will they stop shooting? We were lucky that the Bulls are not much better, because if they would have scored off every miss, they would have been pushing 80 points by the half.

Jump to the second half and the team played more like I believe they are capable of. Terry Rozier finished with 28 points and shot 9/19 from the floor. Mason Plumlee looked great down the stretch, tallying 21 points and 12 rebounds. LaMelo Ball had a double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and flirted with a triple-double, having 8 assists. Unfortunately, he turned the ball over six times.

I must share these observations about the team. Mark Williams is our center. He is the guy we have needed forever. He has size, great footwork, ability to move and defend in switches, and great basketball IQ. He is the center we have always wanted. The issue I have is that if we plan on shooting over 30 three-pointers, we are not very hard to defend. We have to take pages from the teams of old; inside-outside basketball works when the three will not fall. Slowing the game down works, too. We have the young guy that can catch passes in the paint, can post up, can get offensive rebounds, can block shots, and can make passes to open guys. 10 points, six rebounds, and one steal in 17 minutes was not bad, but the Hornets seldom went to Williams in the game at all. He can rebound, but some of those three-pointers were so bad that he had no chance to grab the ball.

Defending helps a lot as well. It is sad that the only time we are decent on defense is when we play zone.

Buckle up fans…it is going to be an ugly finish to the season if something does not change.