The Hornets looked like a whole new team on Saturday night when they snapped their 10-game losing streak and beat the Memphis Grizzlies 115-106. Tre Mann made his Hornets debut in the starting lineup, while Grant Williams, Vasilije Micic, Seth Curry, and Davis Bertans all premiered off the bench, accounting for every single bench minute on the night.
All told, nine Hornets got in the game, and five of them had never played for the team before. Needless to say, there was a pretty clear lack of cohesion on the court, but that’s been an issue even before the trades.
It was nice to see some fresh blood out there, and we got to see right away how these guys can help the team. Mann played well in a lead guard role despite an off-shooting night; he scored 9 points and shot just 1/5 from three, but added 4 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 steals.
Williams made the most notable impact. His toughness and leadership were on display right away as he was flying around, crashing into people, helping get stops, and securing rebounds. He finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds while shooting 3/6 from three in 32 minutes and was a team-high +19.
Micic was right behind Grant at +14 off the bench and he looked great as well, going for 18 points and 9 assists, including a few dazzling ones. He shot 8/13 from the floor and 2/3 from three, and provided a much-needed reliable presence with the ball in his hands.
Bertans came off the bench and hit three threes, all in the first half, for 9 points. And Curry came in and played 19 minutes, hitting one of his three 3-point attempts.
It wasn’t the most spectacular game by any means, but for Hornets fans, the early trade deadline returns are extremely promising. Mann and Micic being able to come in and run the offense like that was huge, combining for 18 assists while playing with mostly new faces, in a new scheme is extremely promising.
What Williams can bring, especially on the defensive end, maybe the most vital addition for this Hornets team, but it’s already easy to see how all the new guys could fit, especially seeing 10 made threes in their first game.
Some of the longer-tenured Hornets seemed to be struggling to find their shots and rhythm early with the new guys, as Miles Bridges and Brandon Miller were both fairly quiet. But they eased into the game and finished with 25 and 18 points respectively.
Things should only get better as these guys all get to know each other and build some chemistry. I’m sure a practice or two wouldn’t hurt either. But after one game, the results are pretty good (just ignore the opponent)! 1-0 on the season with the new trade additions (and 11-41 overall).