Things are not going well for the Charlotte Hornets this season, with their disappointing 3-9 record being a clear indicator of exactly that. There is a multitude of issues facing this team currently, as they have been underwhelming on multiple fronts. But when it comes to the biggest problem in Charlotte, it was an obvious choice for Hornets’ rookie Brandon Miller.
Miller identified their inability to get back on defense as their biggest issue from their recent 122-108 loss to the New York Knicks.
"“I think we kind of struggled maintaining our man in transition. I think that’s just an effort thing with us, something we’ve got to clean up going into the game against Boston”"
This has been a recurring issue for the Hornets this season. Despite being tied for the third-fewest defensive possessions in transition (17.5), Charlotte is allowing the 11th-most points in transition (22.1). Opponents are scoring 54.8% of the time while in transition, which is the third-highest rate in the league, and that comes with an effective field goal percentage of 67.6 (second-highest). All of this adds up to 1.26 points per possession allowed in transition, the most in the league early on this season. Taking all of this information into account, it’s pretty safe to say that Miller’s assessment of the situation is pretty spot on.
The problem for the Hornets is that this is unlikely to change anytime soon. This is a young Hornets team that is destined to get younger as the season progresses. The few veterans that are rostered in Charlotte are destined to be traded or bought out later this year, as the Hornets would be wise to embrace the youth movement sooner rather than later. While this course of action would be best for Charlotte’s long-term outlook, it will result in defensive issues growing in volume across the board, not just in transition. It is going to be a rough watch now, but it will be in the best interest of the organization’s future.