If You Are a Charlotte Restaurant, It’s Time for You to Play Charlotte! 

We (Buzz Bros) went out the other night to a well known Charlotte establishment to eat and watch the Hornets vs Spurs game (we won’t name the establishment on the blog because we sufficiently roasted them on Twitter). We were in the main room of the restaurant and it had more than 15 TV’s. There was 1 TV playing the Hornets game and we were seated across the room with several obstructions and poles between us and that single TV. So we asked our server if one of the 6 adjacent TV’s closer to us (all showing Seahawks vs Lions game) 1 inch apart from each other could be switched to the Hornets game. She went and asked her manager and we were told that he wouldn’t switch it. So we asked to be moved to a table closer to the Hornets game. 

We were slightly frustrated because 1 of the 6 TV’s (all next to one another) could easily be changed and EVERYONE including the 1 Seahawks fan wearing gear could still watch the game from every imaginable angle. We didn’t get upset or say anything until the TV that we asked to be changed was then changed 5 minutes later to motor cross… yes, you read that right… motor cross is ok but not the CHARLOTTE Hornets! 

Quick TV Count:

9- NFL Playoffs

2- Motor Cross

2- Arkansas vs Kentucky

1- CHARLOTTE HORNETS

This has been less of an issue since the return of the Hornets name but it is still a problem that rears its ugly head and it baffles us! Charlotte businesses were not just a year ago talking on the news about how excited they were for the potential economic impact that an All-Star game would have for them but won’t accommodate CHARLOTTE Hornets fans! So we want to help Hornets fans!

This is why we created the “Play Charlotte” page. Not only is it there to call out those places that won’t support local but will also showcase and assist those establishments in the Queen City that are Hornets Fan Friendly!

If you own a local business and you show Hornets and Panthers games we encourage you to contact us at bringbackthebuzz@gmail.com so that you can take over Play Charlotte and we can share you with the Hornets Community! OR If you are a fan at a place who won’t show the game or you want to show love to a place that is please tweet at us! 

This is how we as fans can change the culture!

Twitter: @PlayCharlotte 

Instagram: @PlayCharlotte 

Facebook

Small market is not an excuse anymore. We were awarded the All-Star game, look at the successful Greg Olsen campaign. Businesses were quick to benefit from the market flourishing but turn around and use it as an excuse not to accommodate. You can’t have it both ways and not expect to be called out. 

The Forgotten Hornet: Cody Zeller

By Trace Walker  ()

Photo Credits to Sam Sharpe of USA Today Sports

The 2013 NBA draft was not the most star-studded draft in NBA history. In retrospect, the best players to come out of it were Victor Oladipo, C.J. McCollum, Giannis Antetokounmpo,  and Steven Adams. With the fourth pick of the draft, the Charlotte Bobcats selected Cody Zeller out of Indiana University.

Since then, Zeller hasn’t quite lived up to producing the numbers that are expected from a top-five pick. That’s okay though–Zeller knows his role on the team and plays it well; providing tremendous hustle, decent rim protection, and some rim rattling dunks.

Cody is currently having his best season as a pro; averaging nearly 11 points, a significant increase from his career average of 8 PPG. What’s impressive about this, is that Zeller basically gets zero plays called specifically for him. Cody mainly scores after initiating a pick for his teammates and rolling to the basket where the ball handler hits him for a dunk or layup. Other than that, Zeller gets his touches and buckets by fighting for 50/50 balls and offensive rebounds.

This play is a perfect example of what Zeller has been doing all season, pointed out by @Nick_Sciria, Cody battles KAT for the defensive rebound, runs the floor then gets two offensive rebounds, eventually setting Kemba up for a layup.

Cody Zeller can often be forgotten on the Hornets because his determination and grit isn’t as pretty as Kemba’s step-back or as smooth as Nic Batum but Zeller is still a crucial piece of the team. To show Charlotte’s appreciation for Cody, I made this video which showcases some of his best plays so far this season.

The Hornets are back in action in Zeller’s home state of Indiana tonight, December 12th 2016, catch the game at 7:00.

Hornets Start the Season with a Buzz

By Trace Walker ()

Prior to the start of the NBA season, many raised concerns about this year’s Hornets; who would fill Jeremy Lin’s spot? What would the loss of Big Al Jefferson mean?

Seven games into the season and Hornet fans have pushed their worries aside and are buzzing with excitement about their team.

A start of 6-1 is the best in Charlotte history and the Hornet’s aren’t looking to slow down any time soon. The team’s play has remained strong despite injuries to key role players. Jeremy Lamb hasn’t played since October 29 due to a hamstring issue. There hasn’t been much word on his return; he’s been ruled out for Friday’s game against the Raptors.

The Hornet’s new big man, Roy Hibbert, has also not seen much playing time as he has been out with knee soreness. Roy should be back soon, he is expected to return against Toronto but will most likely get limited minutes. When the ex-Pacer has played, he’s made his presence known.  In thethe season opener, Hibbert recorded five blocks.

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Hibbert’s stat line against the Bucks

In the recent past, the Hornet’s have been known more for their defensive prowess than their scoring ability. That changed last year when Charlotte’s offensive firepower drastically increased. The Hornet’s are building upon that foundation and are perhaps becoming the most versatile team the franchise has seen. With the quick Kemba driving the lane and dishing it to a plethora of shooters, the Hornets can put points up quickly.

Against the Pacers, Charlotte put up 75 points in the first half; tying a record that hasn’t been touched since Hornet’s announcer, Dell Curry, was still suited up in the purple and teal.

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(Courtesy of The Charlotte Observer) 

This team has weapons all around on offense. It’s much more enjoyable to watch a game compared to the good ole’ Bobcat days when making a three-pointer was a rarity. In a ten year period, the team only broke into the top twenty, in terms of three-pointers made in the NBA, once. Last year, they ranked fourth in the NBA, the highest ranking of the sorts Charlotte has received since 1994. Now, it seems that just about every player on the floor can put up a good shot from deep at any time. The 3-point onslaught is currently led by Kemba Walker who is averaging three a game. 

 The cardiac kid hasn’t just been shooting threes though, Walker’s ball handling, driving ability, and poise is the back bone of this team.

Kemba has been leading his team to wins in style.

Kemba step back still going strong 💪🏽 https://t.co/xdQ2PpHdnS

The Hornets have  found success because they don’t rely on one person to score. Each player has their role and plays it well. Over this winning stretch, the bench has played tremendously. Several players have stepped up to put in solid minutes when the starters are on the bench. In Wednesday night’s game against the Jazz, the Hornet bench outscored their opponent’s 41-20.

Frank Kaminsky has looked stronger and much more “NBA ready” than his rookie season. It seems that he is able to get himself in better positions and possesses an expanded arsenal of offensive moves

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Frank the Tank has been averaging 11.4 points per game, an upgrade from 7.5 last year.

Spencer Hawes has also been showing his worth to the team. He’s proved that he can consistently be a viable option on offense while also holding his own on defense. Hawes has put up double-digit scoring in four games so far this season, let’s hope his contributions keep coming.

At first I wasn’t quite sure what to think about Marco Belinelli joining the team, but his presence is slowing growing on me. He’s better on defense than I previously thought, and is able to contribute some scoring. His ability to take and make big shots will definitely come in handy as the seasons goes on.

 Hopefully his chemistry with the team will also grow over the duration of the year!

The Hornets are currently second in the East and on a four game win streak. The team has gotten some good wins at the start of the season but their strength will be tested in the next few coming games. On Friday, the Hive will host the NBA’s leading scorer, Demar Derozan, and the Toronto Raptor’s in what should be a dog fight.

After that they will travel to Cleveland to take on LeBron James and the defending NBA champions. The Hornets will then continue north to Minnesota, where they’ll match up against the young but dynamic Timberwolves.

Thanks for reading and as always, go Hornets!

BUZZ WEEKLY:HORNETS OFF TO STRONG START

So far, so good in Buzz City.

The Hornets sit at 4-1 five games into the season, with their only stumbling block being a loss to the Boston Celtics in their home opener. They have managed to compile this record despite suffering a few injuries along the way to some key pieces to the team.

After a strong debut in the Hornets first game, Roy Hibbert has remained sidelined with what has been described as “knee soreness,” which can certainly be cause for concern for a big man, particularly in the early stages of the season. The Hornets have managed to play well on defense despite his absence; they rank fourth in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing a stingy 95.4 points per outing while also ranking near the top in blocked shots as a team.

As well as Charlotte has played thus far, it would probably be in their best interest to take their time with the veteran big man in order to preserve him for the latter part of the season as he was ultimately brought in to be the veteran defensive stopper the Hornets lacked in the playoffs last season.

Guard Jeremy Lamb is also out nursing an injured hamstring. He is initially listed as being out for 1-2 weeks but, hamstring injuries can be nagging, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team be cautious with this one also.

Philadelphia 76ers v Charlotte Hornets

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Moving on to the early successes of the team, the Hornets have notched victories against Milwaukee, Miami, Philadelphia and Brooklyn. While that isn’t necessarily murderers row, it IS four W’s in the win column, and I think Hornets fans will take a start like this any day of the week.

This team underwent an offensive renaissance last season, after years of setting the tone with their defensive identity, by spreading the floor and adopting a four-out, one-in approach that helped them to a good playoff showing last year. While the offensive principles remain basically the same this year, the team seems to have balanced the focus out better this season, with an emphasis on both sides of the ball and their record boasts the results of that renewed focus.

The team has four games coming up in the coming week after a leisurely start to the season. The Hornets start a three game homestand Monday against the Indiana Pacers who, after a slow start to the season, are coming off a strong showing against the Bulls. It will be a homecoming of sorts for former Hornets big man Al Jefferson, but most of the focus will be on superstar Paul George, point guard Jeff Teague and emerging young center Myles Turner.

Next up will be a second home game against the Utah Jazz. They are another young, up-and-coming team that plays a style similar to the Hornets. They also feature an emerging star big man in Rudy Gobert and forward Gordon Hayward, who is a cognitive piece to their offense, has just returned from injury and looks to be picking up where he left of last season. Newly acquired point guard George Hill is having an offensive resurgence in Utah, leading the team in points and assists.

To finish off the homestand on Friday night, the Toronto Raptors come to town. They are a top five defensive team, they are battle tested and they will be a legit test from a strong playoff contender for the Hornets. Guard DeMar DeRozan has been on an absolute tear this season so far, leading the league in scoring at the moment with 33.7 points per game.

That game should serve as a good springboard for a Sunday afternoon tilt with the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. I obviously don’t have to build this one up much, this will serve as the teams biggest test of the season as the Hornets match up with the likes of LeBron, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. As of now, the Cavs sport the leagues only undefeated record at 6-0, and their offense is clicking as they are leading the league in scoring at 112.3 points per contest.

Those are four tough games on the schedule in the next seven days and they should serve to show us what kind of team we really have this season in Charlotte. Realistically, I can see them coming out of this four game stretch with another three victories, but that will take disciplined play.

The Hornets can ill afford to have slow starts to these games as they did against Brooklyn on Friday. These are all strong defensive teams and if we allow them to set their defensive tone early, it will be tough to get things going afterwards.

Charlotte Hornets v Brooklyn Nets

Photo Credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Now that all that is out of the way, let’s boast about this team a little bit.

Nic Batum has recently appointed himself as the head of the “Get Kemba to the All-Star Game” committee. (*while having the all-star game here would certainly help his cause…cough, cough*) Walker has had an efficient start to his season so far, averaging 24.4 points per game to go with 4.6 assists and three boards per game. He is shooting more efficiently this season and it’s obvious how much the team trusts Kemba down the stretch.

Meanwhile, Batum is filling the stat sheet across the board and MKG has injected a spark into this team on a nightly basis while leading all small forwards in rebounding with 9.2 boards per game.

Cody Zeller has played efficiently and Frank the Tank is getting the opportunity to show off the versatility that led the Hornets to draft him. Marvin Williams hasn’t had the best start to the season, struggling with his shooting in a few games, but he has so far shown a penchant for making the right shots when we need them the most.

Belinelli has seen his minutes increase with the absence of Lamb and he has answered the call with his court vision and basketball IQ that made him a player that Cho has coveted.

Even Spencer Hawes, the player most often brought up in Hornets trade scenarios, has shown where he fits in on this team. Hawes isn’t going to wow anybody with his athleticism or his man bun, but he does have an accurate shot with range and an incredible basketball IQ as well. He has filled in well during Hibbert’s absence and he has provided a steady hand in the Hornets strong start to the season.

And then there are the intangibles; the chemistry and culture that this team has built in the locker room is conducive to winning. On Friday, former Hornet Jeremy Lin echoed the sentiment from last season that the Hornets locker room is how all NBA locker rooms should be. He’s not the first player, current or former, to comment on the chemistry this team exhibits. Coach Clifford has helped build a culture in Charlotte that the players can buy into, and that’s something that takes time and enough belief in each other to handle the responsibility they’re given.

While the teams 4-1 jump out of the gates is very encouraging, this week’s slate of games can help us get a better scope of what we have in this team. We’ve got a good thing going here at the Hive this season, so sit back and enjoy the view from up here Hornets fans. Until next time, KEEP BUZZIN’!!!

 

 

you can follow David W. Walters @Original_DWade. 

BUZZ WEEKLY: RETURN OF THE BUZZ

Well that was certainly fun to watch.

 

The Charlotte Hornets opened their 2016-2017 season with a convincing 107-96 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hornets got a strong jump out of the gate and never looked back, going up by as much as 24 points as their defense led the way.

Charlotte Hornets v Milwaukee Bucks

(Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

 

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist returned from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for most of last season to make a huge impact. He was all over the floor, providing the Hornets with hustle and energy throughout the game. He was successful in driving to the basket and creating contact. He scooped up loose balls and crashed the boards. And with 23 points and 14 rebounds, both team highs, he set the tone for a Hornets team that coach Clifford says will have to bring it on defense from day one.

 

Roy Hibbert signed a one-year deal with the Hornets in an effort to revive his career. Hibbert was a defensive force just a couple of years ago in Indiana, and he has one attribute that can’t be taught; size. The 7’2” center made his statement early and often, with a series of blocks and altered shots that made the Bucks think twice before going into the paint. You could see Milwaukee’s players second guess themselves on baseline drives after Hibbert accrued four blocks in the first half, ultimately finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds three assists and FIVE blocks. Heck of a debut for the Georgetown product, who looks to be playing with a tremendous chip on his shoulder this season.

 

Kemba Walker had a good game with 17 points and eight assists while Marvin Williams chipped in 13 points, 10 rebounds and one emphatic blocked shot. Nic Batum finished with nine points, six boards, seven dimes and two steals. The trio shot a combined 12-36, good for a 33% clip. The positive spin on that discouraging shooting percentage is the fact that the Hornets still dominated the game despite three of their starters struggling from the field.

 

Cody Zeller, who at one point was in doubt to even suit up for the opener, came off the bench and chipped in 15 points and two blocks in just 14 minutes of action.

 

It’s only a one game sample of this years Charlotte Hornets, so it’s still premature to make any assumptions of things to come but, why not make a few early observations anyway?

 

The Hornets lost some key offensive pieces from last season’s playoff run when they let center Al Jefferson and guards Jeremy Lin and Courtney Lee sign elsewhere in free agency. They did, however, retain two key pieces to the team by resigning Batum and Williams. Their versatility and defensives presence made them the top priorities entering the summer and the Hornets were smart to keep them on the roster.

 

The ball moves so much better with a healthy Batum; his skill set is a rarity in the NBA and he is the motor that keeps the Hornets offense going.

 

In contrast, Kidd-Gilchrist is the middle linebacker of the Hornets defense. His return boosts the energy on both ends of the court but, with both MKG and Batum locking down the wings and Hibbert patrolling the paint, the Hornets once again can flex their muscles on defense.

 

The team experienced a renaissance on offense last year, spreading the offense out more while attacking from long range at a pace just shy of the three happy Warriors. The defense remained one of the better units in the league, but this year’s defense could be exceptionally better if we can stay healthy.

 

That’s always a mighty big “IF.” For the most part, the Hornets came out of the preseason healthy. Frank Kaminsky missed last night’s game, but after playing in 81 games last season don’t expect that to be an issue going forward. Starting the season healthy is paramount, allowing a team to build chemistry early on to set the tone for a long, grueling schedule so the team’s early health is certainly something to be thankful for.

 

Sadly, injuries during the season are inevitability, so the team’s depth will be tested whenever it comes time for our bench to step up. Both backup wings struggled early last night; Marco Belinelli finally settled down after a slow start, but he played a good bit in the preseason and seemed to find his groove in a few of the games, so I expected him to play well.

 

Jeremy Lamb had a handful of strong games after signing an extension early last season but then he faded and never regained the confidence he had showed early on. Last night he went 0-4 in just nine minutes and the Hornets are going to need a better effort out of him as the season progresses.

 

The three players at the end of the bench are relatively unproven, with undrafted second year guard Aaron Harrison, Treveon Graham and athletic forward Christian Wood rounding out the roster.

 

No doubt the Hornets depth will be tested at some point this season but for now it appears they have a solid nine or ten man rotation that Clifford can rely on.

 

All things said, last night’s victory over a talented, young Bucks squad was a good way to kick off the season. The Hornets travel to Miami next to face the Heat in an early divisional matchup. The Heat are playing their first season post-Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is unlikely to play this season due to blood clot issues. The matchup between giants Roy Hibbert and Hassan Whiteside will be a fun one to watch, as the Hornets struggled to find an answer for the Heat big man in last season’s playoff series.

 

The season is upon us everyone, let’s settle in and enjoy some Charlotte Hornets basketball. Till next time guys, KEEP BUZZING!!!