James Bouknight might be the most polarizing player on this 2021-22 roster in terms of his role with the team. In the midst of playing in just seven of the team's first 24 games of the season, fans were calling for him to be given an opportunity and now that that has happened, fans want more and rightfully so. Bouknight has played in each of the last five games during this period of COVID issues for the Hornets and has played well. He is averaging 10.0 points per game and shooting 50.0% from behind the arc while averaging 17.7 minutes per game during that stretch, leaving to wonder if he deserves a role in the rotation for this team even when they return back to full strength.
For the first time in their life, the Martin twins were separated this offseason, with Caleb heading to Miami, while Cody stayed here in Charlotte. "That's my best friend," Cody told the Mac Attack when he joined Mac and Bone on Friday morning. "We been together forever and whether it was playing sports or whatever the case is, we've done everything together. It's an adjustment; it's still an adjustment." Both guys have seemed to make the most of the separation, as both are having career years so far this season. Caleb is averaging a career-high in points per game (7.6), field goal percentage (48.9%), effective field goal percentage (56.3%) and rebounds per game (3.2) while playing the most extensive minutes of his career so far this season in Miami. Cody, meanwhile has become an extremely important piece for the Hornets this season, posting his career-highs in points per game (8.6), field goal percentage (48.8%), 3-point field goal percentage (50.0%), effective field goal percentage (57.1%), free throw percentage (57.1%), assists (2.4) and steals (1.4). Not too bad for guys what are still supposedly adjusting.
The Hornets back-to-back the past two days against the Hawks in Atlanta and Philadelphia at home was a tough enough task as it is, but the Hornets' COVID issues made it an even tougher stretch than it had to be. After four key players missed the game on Sunday night in Atlanta, Ish Smith, the team's backup point who had to start the other night due to the scenario that the team is dealing with, was also placed in the NBA's COVID protocol yesterday afternoon, leaving the Hornets even more short handed than they were the night before. That means the pressure was on some of the remaining players to step up and Kelly Oubre Jr. has answered that bell. Oubre had another huge night on Monday, dropping 35 points on 13-24 shooting from the field overall and 6-13 shooting from behind the arc, continuing what has been an extremely successful seven-game stretch for him. In those seven games, Oubre has averaged 25.3 points per game, a team-high during that stretch and it has begun to generate the question as to whether or not he should be considered for a starting role.
The Hornets came into this weekend looking to get back on track after three straight losses that included one to the lowly Rockets. The team was able to do just that last night with a 130-127 win in Atlanta despite the team being short-handed without three starters, LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Mason Plumlee, and one role player in Jalen McDaniels who were all placed in COVID protocols on Saturday afternoon as first reported by Stadium's Shams Charnia.
It was a big win for North Carolina last night in the Smith Center, as they toppled #24 Michigan 72-51, to earn their first signature win under first-year head coach Hubert Davis. A main reason for the win was Caleb Love's impressive performance highlighted by a game-best 22 points, which were aided by a couple of thunderous dunks. During the off-season, the biggest question about this Tar Heel team was the development of their backcourt, which is talented, yet still inexperienced. Seven games into the 2021-22 campaign, it is obvious that Love has taken that next step, necessary for Carolina to return to the top of the college basketball pecking order. Earleir today on Wilson & Norfleet, Brendan Marks, beat reporter for The Athletic joined to talk about the Tar Heels, and when asked specifically about Love he replied: "When he's engaged, it's hard to think about other point guards in the country being better than him. UNC is at its best, when he is at his best." During the 18 years of Carolina Basketball under Roy Williams, whenever Carolina had elite point guard play, they were usually among the better teams in college basketball. It appears that is hear to stay under Hubert Davis. The Tar Heels return to action on Sunday, in Atlanta when they'll take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at 3 PM, on ESPN.
The Hornets 2021-22 season has been a season of winning and losing streaks and the Hornets are currently marred in one of those losing streaks at the moment. Despite 36 points from LaMelo Ball on Wednesday night, the Hornets dropped their third straight game in a thriller 127-125 to the Milwaukee Bucks on the road.
The Charlotte Hornets continue to be one of the more pleasing surprises in the NBA and are one of the more entertaining teams to watch in the league as well. Currently sitting at 13-10, the young team looks poised to make a return to the NBA postseason, hopefully this team avoiding the Play-In Tournament, where last season they got bounced by the Indiana Pacers. They are currently coming off back-to-back losses to the Rockets and the Bulls, where they gave up a combined 279 points. Not ideal to say the least. Injuries have hindered this team at times this season, which has affected their play on the defensive end of the floor. Head coach James Borrego joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today for his weekly visit, and when asked about fixing the defensive woes he replied: "I'm going to look at the experienced guys. They've been in this league, and they've guarded before in the past." The vets he's meaning our Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward, both quality, capable defenders, when healthy, and committed to competing on that end of the floor. For this team to reach its fullest potential, they'll need to evolve on the defensive end, which is why Borrego has harped on the defense since the season started, over a month ago. They'll get a chance tonight to take a step in the right direction, as they are in Milwaukee to take on the defending NBA champions.
After last season, where the Charlotte Hornets made the NBA Play-In Tournament, expectations for this season were to make the NBA playoffs, but as a top six in the Eastern Conference. As of today, they are currently spotted in the fifth seed in the East and have scored impressive wins over the Brooklyn Nets, the Golden State Warriors, and the Washington Wizards twice. To talk about the Hornet's fast start, Brian Geisinger joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today and when asked about their first 20 games, Geisinger replied: "They've exceeded my expectations a little bit." Geisinger would go on talk about the play of Miles Bridges, and why he believes the Hornets as currently constructed, are built to be contenders moving forward. Of the 20 games played so far, Charlotte has only played 8 in Spectrum Center, posting a 6-2 mark. The Hornets are on the road once again tomorrow night in Orlando, before coming home Friday to host the T-Wolves. After Friday's home game against Minnesota, Charlotte will be back on the road, for four games to end the month of November, and the start of December. This all sets up for the Hornets to be at home after the calendar turns to 2022, as they will look to make a push and solidify themselves as a top-six team in the East.
Hornets GM and President of Basketball Operations Mitch Kupchak joined Kyle Bailey on Friday’s edition of The Clubhouse to discuss the Hornets 4 game winning streak, and where he sees this Hornets team and their progress at the moment. Mitch started with the Hornets tough West Coast swing and how the team has improved on […]
The Hornets continued their hot streak on Wednesday night, taking down the Washington Wizards, 97-87, giving them their fourth straight win overall and their second consecutive win over a conference leader. While the Hornets scoring has dropped to an average of 106.3 points per game during the win streak, the Hornets defense has cranked it up on the defensive end of the floor, allowing just 98.3 points per game to opponents during that span.