The Charlotte Hornets are set to see the return of a veteran player to their roster following his suspension coming to an end. 25-year-old forward Miles Bridges will be making his first game appearance since the conclusion of the 2021-22 season as the Hornets take on the Milwaukee Bucks in an In-Season Tournament game.
Hornets head coach Steve Clifford stated that the expectation is that Bridges will play a significant role immediately.
The return of Bridges could not be coming at a better time for the Hornets. This is a team that has lost three of their last four games and six of eight overall, far from a trend that anyone in Charlotte wants to see continue. Finding a way to correct their win-loss ratio sooner rather than later needs to be one of the top priorities in Charlotte. Even if they cannot improve the rate at which they win games, it would at least be encouraging to see them cut into their average margin of defeat (12.8 points).
Bridges last made an on-court appearance for the Charlotte Hornets on April 10, 2022. This was the final game of a season that saw him average career-highs with 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists while starting all 80 games he appeared in. The time between appearances could have a major impact on his effectiveness. While Coach Clifford did praise Bridges’ work ethic and conditioning, only so much can be accomplished via practice. There is no substitute for actual in-game action, and there could be a lengthy adjustment period for Bridges upon his return.
Even if Bridges is only able to contribute at a similar rate to his career averages of 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, this would still be a welcome addition to the Hornets. Charlotte does need Bridges to be a star. All they need is solid contributions from the former Michigan State Spartan for him to have an impact. This should not be too big of an ask for Bridges, considering the current construction of their rotation. If Bridges can play at a consistent level in a complementary role, he may be able to parlay this into an extended stay in Charlotte.