Before I get started, I will begin with a brief introduction. As longtime Panthers fans, I and three other friends launched The 4 Man Rush podcast to cover the Panthers in a detailed way that you may not get to see on ESPN or NFL Network. I have had a passion for football since I began playing at eight years old and continue to enjoy breaking down game film to help other fans enjoy the game as much as I do.
This led to the launching of The 4 Man Rush YouTube page, where we created a platform for us to break down Panthers games and give the fans an opportunity to look at things that they may have not seen on a live broadcast or in Bank of America Stadium. Since the start of the season, I began posting weekly game previews, where I will break down the Panthers upcoming opponents and discuss the Panthers’ keys to victory, and post-game analysis where I will break down the Panthers’ performance. As the channel gains popularity I will continue to add more segments.
Now, let’s talk football. This past weekend, the Carolina Panthers defeated the New York Giants in a 33-31 thriller that was capped off by a 63-yard field goal from kicker Graham Gano. Prior to the game, I looked at the 1-3 Giants as a dangerous opponent despite their record because of the explosive playmakers they have on offense and the young talent that they have on defense. The Giants gave the Panthers everything they can handle as they put up 432 yards of offense and forced two turnovers. In this post-game video, I will break down what the Panthers did well and areas I would like to see them improve as the season progresses. In summary, here were some of my observations:
2nd Series of the Game – When I looked at the Panthers offense on paper heading into the season, this series is what I envisioned and I would like to see the Panthers build on this. The Panthers ended a 5 play, 75-yard drive in which 5 different players touched the ball. The drive got started with a play-action pass to Devin Funchess who ran a comeback route and made a great sideline catch. Then you saw a preview of what DJ Moore can do with the ball in his hands as he broke numerous tackles on an 18-yard reverse play, highlighted by a crushing block from Cam Newton. The Panthers came back with productive plays from Ian Thomas and Christian McCaffrey before Curtis Samuel capped off the drive with a highlight reel touchdown.
Playaction Pass Game – The Panthers play-action pass game has been clicking as Cam Newton went 8-10 for 117 yards. You are starting to see defenses focus on Christian McCaffrey running the ball and as a receiver out of the backfield which has really opened up the play action pass.
The Return of Thieves Ave – Thieves Ave have continued their hot start to the season as Mike Adams was able to pick off Eli Manning twice. So far, the Panthers have forced 9 turnovers which is 3rd in the NFL.
3rd Down Defense – Credit to the Panthers defense for winning on 3rd down as the Giants went 0-7.
Explosive Plays – According to Sharp Football Stats, the Panthers rank towards the bottom of the league in generating explosive passing plays on offense and defending explosive plays on defense. In this game, the Giants generated 307 yards on 10 explosive plays. With respect to other plays, the Giants gained 125 yards on 44 plays (2.8 yards per play). In this video, we break down how the Giants were able to generate explosive plays and why the Panthers have been unable to.
Drive Killers – The Panthers had drives stalled by penalties, turnovers and missed assignments. I would like to see the team be able to better sustain and finish drives going forward.
With that said, I hope you enjoy the video and I look forward to hearing your feedback.
As we put the dog days of the NBA off-season behind us and begin to look forward to training camp getting started the Charlotte Hornets roster is full of guys who will be feeling pressure to prove themselves on many different levels. With a new coach and GM calling the shots, nothing is owed to guys who have been here for a few seasons. Aside from Kemba everyone in Purple and Teal has something to prove, but for this article I will highlight the 4 veterans who have their backs against the wall this season.
Frank will basically be playing for his NBA life this season as he enters the last year of his rookie scale contract. I would stop just short of calling him a bust as he has played a role the last three years coming off the bench, but I think it is fair at this point to say he has not lived up to his draft position or hype coming out of college. His lack of defensive improvement over his first three seasons makes me think he will never be a true starter at any point in his NBA career and while he increased his 3pt% last year, his lack of rebounding makes is difficult to slot him in off the bench as a center. Unless Frank can find a way to improve either his rebounding or defense, or he shoots 40% or better from three EARLY this year, look for his minutes to begin to be cut in favor of Miles Bridges.
This season is Nic’s final chance to prove signing him to that massive contract in 2016 wasn’t the worst contract in Hornets history. The first two years of the 5 year contract were a massive disappointment for Hornets fans, and to be fair he had trouble with an elbow injury early last year. This year however there are no excuses, he is healthy so far and the Hornets got rid of Dwight Howard who Nic didn’t seem to be able to figure out how to play with at all last year. The Hornets also went out and signed one of his best friends in Tony Parker and it also appears that he will be moving back to his natural position of Small Forward this year. All that said, if Nic can’t hit shots consistently and help facilitate the offense at a much better rate than the last two years, you have to wonder if James Borrego will remove Nic from the starting line-up despite that 24 million dollar salary.
Cody finds himself here for a much different reason than the previous two players. No one questions his heart, talent or positive impact on the Hornets when he is on the floor. His screen setting and work in the pick and roll with Kemba creates issues for defenses that truly make the offense more efficient. The problem with Cody is he tends to hit the floor, then end up watching 25 or so games in a suit with injury problems. If the Hornets want to sneak into the playoffs this season, Cody has to play in 72 games or more. If he misses significant time again this year, many NBA fans and more importantly General Managers will look at him as a very expensive injury prone player who can,t be counted on.
Jeremy Lamb should be the starting shooting guard on this team from the opening tip of game one this year. The info that Nic is moving back to the 3 spot means MKG will probably lose his starting spot and create the opening for the sleepy eyed swingman from UCONN to be a full-time starter for the first time in his career. This also happens to be the final year of Lamb’s contract so this season sets up to be a massive chance for him to prove himself as a quality NBA starter, then sit back and wait for the phone to ring in early July and cash in. He was solid as a starter last year when he filled in for Batum averaging 16 points 6 boards and 3 assists in 18 starts while shooting 39.2% from three points range. If he can do that or slightly better this year, teams will be lining up to pay him 12-15 million a year for the next 4 years.
This Hornets team truly has more questions than answers heading into this season, with a new coach and a new front office the teams future is truly anyones guess. However for some of these veteran players, this season could truly mean the difference between signing that big deal that sets you up for life, or figuring out what job you are qualified for in the real world with us regular folks.
All photos from Associated PRESS
Muggsy? Dell? Kemba? Gerald Wallace? Do the Hornets have a single jersey worth retiring?
We sat down Tuesday night with Kyle Bailey from WFNZ’s Garcia & Bailey show to discuss this and more!
Considering the Hornets are releasing a 30 year anniversary court for the upcoming season let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at the courts over the years that we have watched the Men of Teal march into battle on. (Including the Bobcats)
2004 (Charlotte Coliseum)
2004-05 (Charlotte Coliseum)
2014-18 (only major change is change from Time Warner Cable Arena to Spectrum Center in 2017/18)
Huge thank you to Kodrinsky! Really brought these courts back to life for us Charlotte fans!
The Hornets revealed in a YouTube video on their app today that the rumors were true. The Hornets will wear the white throwback jerseys for the upcoming season.
ALSO, revealing that they have a new jersey patch for their partner Lending Tree. It seems they listened to the fans and lost the bar that covered up the pinstripe. This version is a lot cleaner.
One can also assume from the verbiage on the caption of the video that the teal will not be worn for the 30 year anniversary season. The white uniforms are expected to be for sale by November.
will be a minimum of six “Classic Night” games during the 2018-19 season.- Hornets.com
Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the NBA off-season and I just now feel like my Hornets hangover from last season is gone. Last year was a rough one for me, the talk of trading Kemba mixed with disappointing play from guys who were relied upon on big money deals made the season difficult to enjoy. The team fired just about everyone and I thought we were witnessing the beginning of yet another rebuild. All the ingredients were there, overpaid role players who were underachieving, A new General Manager and a Rookie head coach made me think this was it. However, this new group has chosen ( To the disappointment of many) to go all in one more time with this current core group with some slight changes to roster and play style.
Gone is Dwight Howard and whatever issues he brought on and off the court. Gone is Nic Batum the Shooting Guard, according to him via twitter. It appears that he will be returning back to the small forward position this year. Which brings up the question of what this means for MKG, it appears his starting days are likely over. The Batum position switch also explains them not extending a qualifying offer to Treveon Graham, who showed flashes last year as a 3 and D guy off the bench, but with the abundance of guys at the small forward spot, the team decided to move on. The Hornets also moved on from MCW in probably the most obvious decision in sports in the last 100 years. Wish nothing but the best for Carter-Williams, but that dude needed to go. The Hornets also briefly added Timofey Mozgov, who they got in the D12 trade, but quickly sent him packing when they came to their senses.
The Hornets have added some quality young pieces this off-season via the Draft in Miles Bridges and Devonte Graham. Adding these guys to the Hornets developing young core of Dwayne Bacon, Malik Monk and Willy Hernangomez give the team a boost of youth and young talent fans have not seen in some time. Monk showed some flashes in the first summer league game, but suffered a broken thumb which will sideline him for about 2 months. I think the sleeper among this group is Devonte, the local kid from nearby Raleigh has shown early his ability to make good decisions with the ball and make shots from inside and out while showing himself to be a scrappy defender. Its early yet, but he looks like he could be a second round steal for the Hornets.
The Hornets added a familiar face in the Mozgov deal. Biz is back in Charlotte and the energetic yet stone handed big man will likely be the third center in the rotation, but considering how hard it has been for Cody Zeller to stay healthy, he fills an important depth role and can be used as a rim defender against match-ups where Hernangomez gives up too many pounds down low. His contract is ugly as they get, 17 million guaranteed per year for 2 seasons, but Mozgov is older, slower and was likely not going to be able to play in new coach James Borrego’s up tempo system. Plus, the scouting report says his bench celebrations showed a lack of heart and creativity, and I just cant tolerate that.
The final addition (so far) is the signing of Tony Parker……..Ummmmmm, I am still not really sure how I feel about this one. I see the idea of bringing in the veteran point guard who is familiar with the new coach and is friends with your highest paid player in Nic Batum but I have some concerns. First off, old Tony is just that….OLD. At 36 I have to wonder how much is left in the tank coming off two injury riddled seasons. I also question the fit along side Malik Monk off the bench. At 6 foot 2 and under 200 pounds, which of those guys defends the bigger guard on the opposing team? Finally I question the contract, which at 2 years/ 10 million which appears to be fully guaranteed is one of the more lucrative contracts signed this off season for point guards.
I really don’t know how I feel about this squad at this very moment. I see things that give me hope like the young core and Kemba still being here. However I still see so many questions with fit and lack of overall talent. I also don’t think Mitch is ready to call it quits on shaping this roster for next season, and have a feeling we will see either MKG or Barstool Frank shipped out to loosen up minutes for some of the younger guys. Bottom line is this, I’m getting excited for next year, even though we could be 11th in the East or 3rd.
A lot of times as fans we assume that the players don’t really pay attention to the debates we have on social media or the things we say. Well, that is not the case for Charlotte Hornets player Dwight Howard. Last night in a post we put on Instagram asking the fabsase if Kemba and Dwight were enough to get the Hornets to the playoffs, some guy commented, ripping apart Dwight’s game.
Whelp, Dwight found it very entertaining…..
by Scotty Kent
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on where my relationship stands with the Hornets. Last season was the first season in years that I wasn’t at the arena for the majority of the games. My daughter was born at the start of the season and as a result, I was forced to watch most of the games from my couch. Once it became evident (soon after the all-star break) that this team was unraveling and not making the playoffs, I found my interest in the team beginning to fade. Towards the end of the season, I even caught myself turning off the TV out of frustration from the product on the court. This is something we (my brother and I) were more or less raised not to do, you stick with your team through the good and the bad and you damn sure don’t leave the game early or quit watching.
With that being said, I am just fed up as a fan and like everyone else, the older I get, the harder it is to fit 82 games into my schedule…especially when the product isn’t worth watching. As a Charlotte NBA fan, I’ve also become numb to the endless draft picks, coaching changes, player trades, and empty promises from the organization that things are going to change. So naturally, my interest is slipping back to where it was during the Bobcats era when we decided to start Bring Back the Buzz. I don’t like that I am currently apathetic as a fan about our new coach, new GM, and overall future but I’ve got little to no evidence that I should be optimistic.
This upcoming season is our 30th anniversary of basketball in Charlotte (well, kinda but we won’t get into that) and the marketing team has done an incredible job. The promos look amazing, the logo is perfect, the digital content is great but the current state of the team almost sucks all the excitement out of it. I genuinely don’t envy their jobs. There can only be so much smoke and mirrors before people start to pick up on the fact the product isn’t any good. Unfortunately, the Hornets are constantly fighting for a spotlight in a city where the Panthers hold most of the attention and are a much better team. But who knows, we have the All Star Game here for the first time in forever, maybe the team can capitalize on the fact that all eyes will be on the NBA in Charlotte.
Nevertheless, Bring Back the Buzz will always be here. Over 7 years of BBTB and we are still growing. It is needed and the followers continue to show us that. There has to be a platform to show the organization people are watching, care, and will call them out if they phone it in (like the 212 degrees Bobcat promo days) or will let them know when they are doing a great job (Big Al’s Paint can). With the 2 of us both being in marketing rolls now because of BBTB, we are both pretty busy with our jobs and are currently debating what the next phase is for us (we are kicking around the idea of a podcast where we discuss everything Hornets…with more of a culture, marketing, state of the fanbase feel). Whatever that phase is we will find it, we just really felt obligated to let any fan out there that currently feels like us…know they aren’t alone and that one day when this thing turns around and there are Hornets bandwagon fans…we will know we were there through it all.