Charlotte Hornets New Year's Resolutions

Mitch Kupchak, Charlotte Hornets GM
Mitch Kupchak, Charlotte Hornets GM / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Learn a new skill!

My third and final New Year’s resolution for the Charlotte Hornets is to learn a new skill! A couple instantly comes to mind: making threes and playing defense.

P.J. Washington
P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages

The Hornets rank 26th in three-pointers made, 24th in three-pointers attempted, and 20th in three-point percentage at 35.9%. Rookie guard Nick Smith Jr. is the only Hornet with at least 40 3PA shooting above 40% from deep - that’s not great! Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington, two high-usage players, are barely above 30% from downtown - a career-worst for both. On the bright side, the return of LaMelo Ball should open up the court and solve some of these shooting woes. Still, Charlotte’s inability to make shots from behind the arc has proven detrimental, especially in clutch-time scenarios.

Of all 30 teams in the NBA this season, the Charlotte Hornets rank dead-last in defensive rating. To put it in perspective, the Detroit Pistons - losers of 28 consecutive games - rank 26th. The Indiana Pacers, who can’t guard a parked car, sit at 28th. Even the lowly Washington Wizards have a better defensive rating than the Hornets. This is inexcusable. The recent return of Cody Martin and a healthy Mark Williams should alleviate some of these defensive struggles, but don’t expect Charlotte to shoot up the rankings anytime soon.

Successful NBA teams have numerous characteristics in common. Veteran leadership, a clean bill of health, a sharp head coach, a competent front office - the list goes on. However, arguably, the two most important traits a team must possess to succeed in this era of the NBA are the ability to hit threes consistently and a solid defense that can win games even when shots aren’t falling - the Hornets rank near the bottom of the league in both of these categories.

Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford, Charlotte Hornets Head Coach / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

If the Hornets ever want to bring a championship to Charlotte - or even win a playoff series - they must address these two glaring issues. To succeed in 2024, the Charlotte Hornets must live healthier lives, reorganize the house, and learn some new skills. It’s time to follow through on these New Year’s resolutions, make some tough decisions, and move forward in the right direction.