We’re 9 games into the NBA season and the Charlotte Hornets are 4-5. They had some great moments where the team looks like a playoff contender, and they’ve taken some lumps like their loss in Chicago against the Bulls by 2 points. This is a team that has finished under .500 for two straight years and missed the playoffs. How does the team get better from here, and capitalize on its franchise player Kemba Walker. My answer is: get younger!
One day at Chrysler arena, Jalen Rose suggested an intra-team scrimmage…all the Freshman vs the rest of the team. Early in the season Rose and Webber were already in the starting line-up. The Freshman drubbed the upperclassman and the Fab Five were born. Jalen and Chris added 3 pieces Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson and from that day forward the Fab Five gained identity, confidence and roles that took them to two straight national championship games.
Could we have a similar scenario in Charlotte?
Charlotte’s most frequent line-up is:
Kemba Walker PG
Jeremy Lamb SG
Cody Zeller C
Nic Batum SF
Marvin Williams PF
I take issue with this lineup for a couple of reasons. One, it’s never taken Charlotte to the playoffs, Two-its aging, Three-None of the last 3 first round picks are included in it.
So I present the following:
My Starting Five:
Kemba Walker PG
Malik Monk SG
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF
Miles Bridges PF
Lets start with the two non changes Cody Zeller is making 13 million this year. He’ll continue to start based off that, and average performance with some flashes of defense and much-needed height. Kemba Walker is having his best year, 29 points per game and 6 assists. He is the undisputed leader of the team, and seems to just keep getting better.
My reasoning for the swaps:
Jeremy Lamb is 26. His career average is 11 points and 4 rebounds per game. He is averaging 9 points and 3 rebounds a game. He is 6’5 so he can still be posted up by other shooting guards. Swap in Malik Monk. Monk is 20 years old and averaging 13 points off the bench. He is 6’3. The time is now for Monk, he should either start over a declining Lamb or be traded
Nic Batum-This one kills me. Batum is 29 and averaging 6 Points/4/Rbs/3Asst per game. Career his a 12/5/4 guy. He is clearly on the backside of his career. Each minute he plays hurts me more. Insert-MKG. MKG is 6’7 25 years old and averaging 9 points and 6 rebounds a game off the bench. Not rocket science here, give the guy a chance or trade him.
Marvin Williams-32 years old, 13 years in the league. He should really start researching AARP. Marvin is averaging 6 points and 4 rebounds a game at Power Forward this season. He is 6’9 and an 10/5 career average player in the league. Its been a good run. Start now-Miles Bridges. I’m beating a dead horse here. Bridges is the second most exciting player on the team, and if given minutes, maybe the second best player. Bridges is 6’7 and would be considerably undersized in my proposed smaller line-up. He has the highest upside on the team….period
The Hornets must take a disrupt or die attitude in a watered down Eastern Conference. I am no NBA coach. I don’t pretend to know advanced analytics, or the value a NBA Veteran brings to the starting line-up. I do know that if the Hornets continue to let first round picks come off the bench, they’ll continue their trend of late lottery picks. That and a nickel will get a great seat to watch the Playoffs from your couch.
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