The Hornets head into the home stretch of the season looking to secure a playoff spot in the tight East. Charlotte is currently in the middle of the pack at the six seed.
The team has been hot lately, winning eight of their last ten games. The winning streak has also included an impressive road trip where the Hornets picked up two wins in Indianapolis, along with victories in Milwaukee, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia.
HORNETS WIN AGAIN!! pic.twitter.com/U53lUYfA9i
— Bring Back The Buzz™ (@BringBackTheBuz) March 3, 2016
Charlotte missed an opportunity to climb up in rankings when they fell short against the Hawks in a game which took place on February 28 in Atlanta. The Hornets came out cold in the first quarter, scoring just nine points compared to the Hawk’s twenty five. Charlotte came storming back in the 4th, cutting the lead to just two, but their efforts fell short, and Atlanta took the game 87-76.
After the loss, Charlotte quickly bounced back at home in a contest with the Phoenix Suns. The struggling Suns came into town winning only one of their last fifteen games. Luckily for the home team, Phoenix continued their losing ways, dropping the game 126-96. The entire Charlotte roster got in on the fun, as all 13 players scored on the night. Four Hornets finished in double figures including Kemba Walker, Nic Batum, Al Jefferson, and Jeremy Lamb. It was also Nickelodeon night in the Queen City, Charlotte donned Rugrat themed gear.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) March 1, 2016
The 90’s themed night featured a visit from Kel Mitchell, star of Kenan and Kel and Good Burger.
Hornets have brought in Kel Mitchell for “90s Night” pic.twitter.com/7oXnOBjI2z
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 1, 2016
There have been multiple contributors to the Hornet’s recent success, but lets take a look at some of the players who have stepped up as of lately.
A large part of the Hornet’s success this season has been due to Kemba, as he is easily having the best season of his career. In the past three seasons he has averaged 17 points a game, this year though the PG is dropping 20 a night. Walker’s increase in scoring can be attributed to his much improved shooting, last year he shot 30% from three, while this year he is shooting 37%. Kemba has also become the go-to guy for Charlotte, someone you can count on to give you a bucket late in the game. The Hornets often find themselves in close games and Kemba has been the difference maker in a lot of them.
If the Hornet’s want to make a run in the playoffs, Walker’s scoring and leadership are crucial to the teams success. Kemba has led the team in scoring in seven of the last nine games.
Although he may not be putting up numbers like he did a couple years back in New York, it seems that Linsanity has found a new home in Charlotte. Lin has been very beneficial off the bench for the team and has added some much needed scoring to the second unit. In the last six games, Jeremy has finished in double figures four times. Having a solid second point guard is huge for the Hornets as it takes pressure off Kemba and it’s nice to have another guard who can score. Steve Clifford has experimented with playing both Walker & Lin at the same time, perhaps we will see more of that as the playoffs come closer.
Forward Marvin Williams has been doing a little bit of everything for Charlotte this year, defense, shooting, passing, rebounding. Williams has been doing it all, quietly filling up the stat sheet for the Hornets, while adding a lot of heart and hustle. In a recent game with the Pacers, Marvin came up big with 26 points and 13 rebounds in a slim victory. It’s seems like when no one else is making shot’s, Williams can get one to fall. Looking forward, Marvin’s experience will be beneficial to the team as the playoffs approach.
On Friday the fourth, the Hornets start an eight game homestead. Multiple Western Conference teams will come to town including the Timberwolves, Pelicans, Rockets, and Mavericks. The Hornet’s next game is tonight, March 4, against the Pacers. Charlotte looks to sweep the season series as they won the two previous meetings against Indianapolis. Hopefully the Hornets can continue their hot streak and finish the season strong and lock up a playoff spot.