Charlotte Hornets placed in tough group for in-season tournament

Steve Clifford, Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Clifford, Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Charlotte Hornets have been placed in a difficult group for this year’s inaugural NBA in-season tournament. Group B of the Eastern Conference will feature two contenders, one up-and-coming team, a rebuilding roster, and the Hornets – but more on that in a moment.

The in-season tournament is the latest addition to the NBA calendar. In Europe, most sports have a tournament that runs alongside a primary league, with soccer having numerous versions happening throughout the year. Now, it would appear the league wants to follow a similar route as to try and improve mid-season ratings while giving non-contending teams an additional target to aim for.

Players will also have the added incentive of playing for an additional payday. Every player from the winning team will receive $500 thousand, while the second-placed team’s players will get $250 thousand. There will be an MVP of the tournament and All-Tournament team, and the winning franchise will get a trophy that will be known as the ‘NBA Cup.’

It’s also worth noting that each game will still count toward a team’s regular-season record, so there is no incentive to tank the tournament.

Who will the Charlotte Hornets face in Group B?

The Charlotte Hornets will face the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, and New York Knicks during the group stage of the upcoming tournament. For a Hornets team that is looking to prove they’re capable of being successful, their tournament group will provide them with a legitimate opportunity to showcase what their roster can do.

The Heat were NBA finalists last season and thrive when they have something to play for. While the Bucks will be wanting to wash away the stink from their early playoff exit at the hands of the Heat. And we can always count on the Knicks to bring a physical brand of basketball to the equation as Tom Thibodeau continues to shape his team into a potential contender.

Finally, the Wizards are a totally different team from what we saw last season after they made multiple trades to reshape their roster and begin rebuilding around Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole.

The Charlotte Hornets will have a chance to contend for a trophy in the upcoming in-season tournament. For a team whose ceiling appears to be a play-in tournament spot, having another opportunity to taste success will likely provide the Hornets with additional motivation to continue their development and improve on the disappointments of last season.

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