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Do Charlotte Hornets have an Outside Chance of securing a Playoff Spot if the season resumes?

After missing out on a playoff spot following their abysmal 2018-2019 season, which saw them finish 9th in the Eastern Conference and Southeast Division with a 39-43 win-loss record, the Charlotte Hornets would have had expectations of being one of the major contenders in the fight for the playoffs this season. However, it has been a different case once more as the Hornets find themselves in an unwanted position for another season running. At the moment, Coach James Borrego’s Hornets team is 10th on the Eastern Conference table and 4th and the Southeast Division with a 23-42 win-loss record. For most NBA fans who have paid close attention to the Hornets in recent years, it comes as no surprise that the team finds themselves in their current predicament since the team lost their star player Kemba Walker to Boston Celtics last summer. The departure of Walker after his long stay at the team has had a significant effect on the performances this season. However, if the season resumes anytime soon, the Hornets could still have a slim chance of reaching the playoffs if results elsewhere from the remaining games go their way. Despite the little optimism, there is a massive cloud of doubts surrounding the Hornets’ capability to end the season on an excellent note considering their highly documented inconsistencies so far this season. We take a look at the Charlotte Hornets’ season so far, the statistics of some of their key players, and where the Hornets could end up at the end of the season.

 

Charlotte Hornets’ season so far

The Hornets started the season with a 126-125 win over Chicago Bulls in their first match. However, victories became hard to come by as they lost their next three games against Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. However, the team recovered from the short winless run to claim three straight wins over Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, and Indiana Pacers to get their season back on track. The decent winning run was short-lived as they went on to lose the next four games against Boston Celtics in Walker’s first competitive game against his former side, New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers and Memphis Grizzlies. Despite the setbacks, the Hornets managed to pull themselves together, winning two straight games against Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks. After 13 games into the new season, Charlotte Hornets had a decent 6-7 win-loss record. Things began to go downhill as they lost their next five consecutive games against Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, and Miami Heat. Two straight wins over Detroit Pistons in the next two games brought an end to the barren spell. However, the successes failed to cover the cracks in the team’s performances as they lost four times and won once in the next five games. The only victory during that run came against Golden State Warriors, who were also struggling following injuries to most of their top players. At the stage of the season, the inconsistencies in the team’s game had become clear to see. These results also raised questions about the team’s ability to maintain a consistent winning run and avoid disappointing losses. Despite the doubts and uncertainties, the Hornets managed to secure three significant straight wins against Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls. From there, their inconsistent form resurfaced once more as Charlotte Hornets won only 1 out of the remaining eight games of 2019.

However, The Hornets put the disappointing end to 2019 behind them to claim two wins from the first two games of the New Year. These victories came against Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks. The consecutive winning run came to a screeching halt as the Hornets lost 13 and won one in their next 14 games. The poor results ended after the team secured three straight wins in the next three games against Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Chicago Bulls. Charlotte would go on to win four and lose six of their last ten games before the suspension of the NBA. Their final match saw them beat in-form Miami Heat 109-98 in Miami.

 

Statistics of the team’s Key Players

This season, there have been few standout performers in the Charlotte Hornets’ team. Point Guard Devonte’ Graham has been the star of the show on multiple occasions with the likes of Guards Terry Rozier and Malik Monk, Forwards Miles Bridges, and P.J. Washington and Cody Zeller also being key contributors this season in terms of their statistics.

Devonte’ Graham, in his second season with the Hornets, has averaged 18.2 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game and 7.5 assists per game in 63 games this season.

Terry Rozier, in his first season for the Hornets following his move from Boston Celtics last summer, has also averaged 18.0 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game and 4.1 assists per game in 63 games.

Malik Monk has averaged 10.3 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game with 2.1 assists per game in 55 games.

Miles Bridges has also averaged 13.0 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game and 1.8 assists per game in 65 games with rookie P.J. Washington is also averaging 12.2 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, and 2.1 assists per game in 58 games.

Cody Zeller also has an average of 11.1 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game with 1.5 assists per game in 58 games.

 

Where could the Hornets end up this season?

If the NBA resumes, it will take more than a miracle to get the Hornets in the playoffs looking at their remaining fixtures. Charlotte Hornets have challenging home games against the likes of Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors. However, the Hornets’ poor home record this season suggests that the odds would be against them to get any positive results from these games.

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