Do the Hornets Have Any Sting Left?
*Photo via USA Today
Following last season’s 43-39 record and claiming the 7th seed, and losing in four to the Heat. Many had the feeling the Hornets were on the rise and were to be something to fear in the future. Following a solid off-season, picking up Lance Stephenson, Jason Maxwell, and drafting Noah Vonleh, the Hornets were projected to be a mid-seed in the East. However, this season has been a step back. With eight games left the Hornets are still in the playoff race, while sitting at 32 - 42; they’re currently two games back from the 8th seed and three from the 7th.
On paper this team should be much better, however injuries have plagued this bunch. Kemba Walker missed over a month with a torn meniscus, while Al Jefferson has had a few foot problems, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has missed time and after his latest injury a mid April return is being targeted. While not being unhealthy, Lance Stephenson has been as close to a bust as you can get. The situation has reached such an extreme he received a “DNP-CD” in the teams latest loss vs. the Celtics. Now despite this somehow the playoffs are in reach, god bless the Eastern Conference.
During these next eight games, the Hornets are playing the next two out of three against the Pacers and Heat; both in which are directly tied into their playoff chances. Now of the other six games, four are against playoff teams. Take note as well five of their next eight are on the road including the Pacer and Heat games. After winning tonight against Detroit 102 - 78, they didn’t make up much ground with Boston winning against Indiana, and Brooklyn over the Knicks. However, they remain in the middle of the race and with more solid play like tonight from Kemba and company. All basketball from here on out for Charlotte, entitles playoff caliber basketball.