We Are Charlotte Hornets: A Story Hornets Fans Can Relate To

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Left to Right: Greg (Papa Buzz), Tricia (Mama Buzz), Evan & Scotty (The Buzz Brothers) “THE KENTS”

Periodically I have done emotional posts that have come at different stages in the Hornets return. I did one for the Buzz City Open House when they announced the board approved the name change. I did one for the day they officially changed their name to the Hornets but honestly it has not hit me till this post… I am 7 days away from going to a CHARLOTTE Hornets game. Wow.

People either say Bring Back the Buzz is the sole reason why the Hornets name is back or say we had nothing to do with it at all. At this moment I can honestly say we don’t care what end of the spectrum you put us at. Either way Scotty and I gave it everything we’ve had for almost 4 years and that is what matters to me. We fought like we were making a difference.

Tho I am young and I cant tell you what stats players had in a game in 1992 or recall specific plays from before 1997 like my brother BUT I can say the emotional memories I have concerning the Hornets are as vivid as ever. The impact it had on me was real. I can remember my family going to a game every Thanksgiving, Birthday or whenever Dad decided to surprise us. I remember laying on the floor in front of the TV and Scotty explaining to me what was and going on. I remember sneaking back downstairs when mom and dad fell asleep to watch games. I remember when they left. I remember crying because those experiences were my fondest memories with my family and I felt like we could never relive them together again. It was literally the first thing Scotty, my best friend/brother, and I ever connected on. The Hornets weren’t just a basketball team. They were my city, my heritage, my history and they were as cheesy as it sounds, my family.

With a mother so into History (She was a docent at the Hezekiah Alexander house, the oldest house in Mecklenburg County and was home to one of the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence) we quickly learned the historical significance of the name. That combined with our city pride, obsessive/bullheaded nature, and love for sports is what spawned our site.

Bring Back The Buzz has meant so much to both of us. Ive worked harder on this than anything in my entire life besides my soccer career. Yes, harder than school (don’t tell  MaMa Buzz) and harder than my Eagle Scout Award (don’t laugh, that thing was hard lol). When I got hurt and quit playing soccer for Appalachian State it literally saved me from losing my mind. It helped me fill up all that free time I had previously devoted to soccer. It helped me find my passion in life and steered me towards my career path. Above all else it helped bring our family together.

I know I’ve annoyed EVERY SINGLE ONE of my friends with my obsession over the years and I know this sounds dramatic but BBTB and yall’s support literally saved my life. THANK YOU! We have met so many great people (people who will undoubtedly be life long friends) who feel the same way we do and have gotten to do so many incredible things. The opportunity to stand next to people you have never met and fight for what you believe in is something that I hope everyone has the chance to experience in their life. There were “haters” big and small but the fans persevered.  You guys made the journey together just as  historical and unforgettable as the destination.

As unBEElievable as it sounds….. the Kents will be going to a Hornets game as a family again! That means more to me than I can ever explain.

GO HORNETS!!!

The Top 10 Must Have Shoes For Hornets Fans

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Back in 1988 when the Charlotte Hornets franchise was first established not even Alexander Julian could fathom the impact his color scheme would have on Charlotte, the NBA, sports, and pop culture. It truly revolutionized what colors people viewed were appropriate or acceptable for a sports franchises to use. It transcended the basketball court and created a style that became synonymous with an entire generation. Therefore, we thought it was only appropriate to take a look back and choose what we viewed to be the top 10 Charlotte Hornets themed shoes since their inception.

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10. The Adidas EQT Elevation “Draft Day Hornets”

In 1997 the Charlotte Hornets drafted Kobe Bryant 13th overall. Prior to Kobe being drafted by the Hornets he had reached two agreements, one was that he would end up a Laker and the other one was a massive shoe deal with Adidas. While Kobe’s first shoe ended up being in Lakers’ colors its nice wonder what it would have looked like in the glorious Hornets colors……. had he not told Charlotte he was too big for our small market.

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9. Nike Air Force III “Hornets”

While I’m not a fan at all of the design of the Air Force III, it does incorporate the original pinstripes from the original Charlotte Hornets jersey,which means it pays enough respect to be in the top 10.

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8. Air Jordan 6-17-23 Aqua

This sneaker was released by Jordan on March 12,2011 and it throws aspects of both the Jordan 6 and 17 into the same shoe. Its a nice nod to the Air Jordan 8 Aquas which we will be appearing later on in this list. While this shoes design was released  again this year, the Aqua/Charlotte Hornets colorway appears to be a one time thing.

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7. Ewing Athletics Wrap (Charlotte Hornets)

While Ewing’s line of shoes is most famous for it’s 33 Hi, the famous Knick decided to pay homage to the team that currently cuts his checks and the greatest colorway in the history of the NBA. The shoe has a very classic late 80s/early 90s feel to it that matches  the era in which the Hornets erupted into the mainstream.

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6. Nike Lebron 9 “Summit Lake Hornets”

Lebron played for the Hornets, not the Charlotte Hornets but his Youth League team called the “Summit Lake Hornets”. Lebron has decided to capitalize on the popularity of the team’s colors be releasing a series of “Summit Lake Hornets” shoes. However, the 9s hit at a time when the idea of Bringing Back the Buzz was really beginning to hit mainstream and thus shooting the popularity of these shoes through the roof.

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5. Nike Zoom Kobe IV “Draft Day”

Once again nobody trolls like Kobe, his gift for revising the incidents that occurred leading up to that draft night in 1997 tend to rub Hornets fans the wrong way. Never the less he was technically a Charlotte Hornet on draft night and since we know what his shoes would have looked like with his initial Adidas contract, its only right that we get a version of the Black Mamba’s shoe had he stayed with the Hornets all the way to his Nike days.

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4. Air Jordan 8 Aqua

This shoe was originally released in 1993 during the Charlotte Hornets prime and it is just a unique shoe with a phenomenal use of the Hornets colors while not being too overpowering. It uses a black base and places the majority of the color towards the bottom of the shoe.

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3. Air Jordan 1 Mid Court Purple/Gamma Blue

You are looking at the owner of the Charlotte Hornets very first shoe in the colors of the team in which he currently owns. Now while this shoe may never have the title of “Air Jordan 1 Mid Charlotte Hornets”, it very obvious which team inspired the color choices.

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2. Air Jordan 5 Grape

Now….this shoe will forever hold a special place in our hearts and remind us of how Jordan played with Charlotte’s emotions. It lead to so much speculation and  forced us into attempting to crack the Jordan Code on whether or not our NBA team in Charlotte would once again adorn the title of Charlotte Hornets ( http://bringbackthebuzz.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/cracking-the-jordan-code-the-last-clues-are-falling-into-place/ ). It was re-released in April of 2013 with an entire line of teal and purple clothes/shoes to accompany it…..just a month before the franchise announced they were changing back the Hornets (coincidence, I think not).

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1. Converse Aero Jam OG

This is it, these are the ones, when you see these you have no choice but to think CHARLOTTE HORNETS!! Larry Johnson strapped these on, turned into Grandmama, and then helped turned Hornets hysteria into a reality. Until the next generation of Charlotte Hornets players helps catapult the brand back to where it once was with their own shoes….these will forever be it!

Buzz Weekly: Hornets Drop the Ball in Overtime

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(Written by David W. Walters)

The Charlotte Hornets (3-4) battled back from a 15-point halftime deficit and ultimately lost a close one in overtime last night against the Atlanta Hawks (3-3), 114-117, but perhaps there were a few positives that came out of the game. One positive could be that the missing starters afforded an opportunity for the reserveBuzzs to get more minutes and develop more consistency, something that was clearly missing in the last matchup with Chicago the previous night.

Only two starters played for the Hornets, as center Al Jefferson sat out the second game in as many days for the Hornets. Marvin Williams and Lance Stephenson both sat out as they nursed minor injuries from Sunday night’s game. The positive that comes from this is the amount of minutes afforded to a few of the Hornets key reserves, who looked out of place at times in Charlotte’s loss to the Bulls on Sunday.

Gary Neal recovered from his early game shooting struggles to hit some key baskets down the stretch as he flirted with a triple-double, putting up a line of 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Backup center Cody Zeller had a strong game as well with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists before fouling out in the overtime period and Kemba Walker stuffed the stat sheet himself with a line of 17 points, four rebounds, eight assists, two steals and two blocks.

Bismack Biyombo started the game and responded with five points but led the team with 10 rebounds and three blocks and MKG wasn’t scared to shoot as he went 5-15 from the field and finished with 10 points. Reserve point guard Brian Williams had his best game of the exhibition season so far as he put up 14 to go with three steals and rookie P.J. Hairston had 11 points and three rebounds.

Another positive for Charlotte was top pick Noah Vonleh finally seeing his first action of the preseason after missing the past few weeks with a sports hernia injury. Vonleh played 19 minutes, scoring four points, grabbing four rebounds and getting two steals. The rookie looked out of place at times as he struggled to get up to game speed, but that should be expected, as this was his first game action with his Hornets teammates.

At one point, the Hawks went on a 20-0 tear that spanned across the first and second quarters, allowing them to take a big lead into the locker room. Paul Millsap led the Hawks with a well rounded game of 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks while sharp shooting guard Kyle Korver poured in 17 points to go with four assists of his own. Mike Scott had 16 points off 4-6 shooting from long range while Dennis Schroder and Thabo Sefolosha scored 12 points a piece for Atlanta.

Gerald Henderson sat out his seventh straight game as he continues to rehab a hamstring issue.

The Hornets look to get back on track when they come home to The Hive on Thursday night to face off against Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers.

you can follow David W. Walters @Original_DWade.

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

If The Hive Is NOT Sold Out

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REALITY CHECK:
Two things can be taken from opening night if the game is not sold out.

1) the Hornets are charging too much when it is $50 for the back corner. Remember where you came from. You haven’t done anything yet. Yes, you changed the name and people will pay for that but you haven’t done enough on the court yet for that to be the price.

2) the fan base has been going nuts for months and made us second in the league in new season ticket sales only behind cleveland BUT more people need to put their money where their mouth is. If you have been a huge supporter of the name coming back then $50 should not be why you don’t help fill up the hive for the first night. Especially when we have people contacting us and telling us they are flying in from Belgium and need help finding a hotel.

The Hive will only bee as great as we make it. We brought back the Hive NOW let’s Get The Hive Alive! The people of Charlotte getting off their butt and taking action is what brought the name back. We can’t lose sight of that so close to what could be the birth of a new era for not just basketball in Charlotte but for our great city’s culture.

BEE THE CHANGE.

MMQB: The Panthers Bright Side…Kind of

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(Written By David Gabriel)

MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK!! Well you see what had happen was…well nothing happened. By the time the Panthers got their first first down of the game GB already had 21 points. First 3 GB drives touchdowns. First 3 Carolina drives 3 and outs. Penalties on third down killed us early in the game. Aaron Rodgers killed us the whole game. And the sorry ass secondary will kill us ALL season long.

I mean seriously these guys couldn’t stop the charlotte catholic cougars passing attack (and they throw like 5 times a game!) Well why does the secondary suck? Because it’s completely different from last year. Dave Gettleman got rid of starters and replaced them with backups! Not going to stop elite quarterbacks with second stringers. I mean seriously roman Harper looks old even with a helmet on. Even after this massacre and demoralization there is a slight hope.

We play in the NFC South! We are still in first thanks to a choke by New Orleans. Luckily we play a struggling Seattle this week but no QB will struggle against our secondary. Defense either cut Godfrey this week or just don’t play the man. Like I’ve said before all we have to do is make the playoffs. And that goal is still a reality! Keep pounding black and blue. Maybe practice some Defense this week for the sanity of panthers fans everywhere. Keep pounding people.

Buzz Weekly: Hornets Rally Falls Short in Loss to Bulls

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Written By David Walters

The Charlotte Hornets (3-3) fought hard but ultimately came up short in a 96-101 loss to the Chicago Bulls (4-2) on Sunday night at the United Center.

Both teams started off the game hot as they raced out to a 28-35 score at the end of the first period. The Hornets shot well but couldn’t keep up with Chicago’s hot hands, in particular Kirk Hinrich, who had 10 points in the opening period. The Bulls carried that momentum into the second quarter, as they went on an 11-2 run to open the period. The Hornets fought back with a 19-7 run of their own to close out the first half, going into the locker room with a 51-57 deficit.

The Hornets got as close as four in the third quarter, but the Bulls reserves seemed to have an answer every time the Hornets would start to chip away at their lead. The Hornets entered the final period down 70-83, but got closer with the help of rookie P.J. Hairston, who pulled the Hornets closer in the fourth with a few threes and a pair of free throws. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a big fourth quarter as he took advantage of a couple of three-point plays while going hard at the basket in transition. The Hornets were down 96-99 in the closing seconds when Gary Neal missed a long three-point attempt that would have tied the game, forcing the Hornets to intentionally foul.

The Bulls played well, but the glaring disparity in this game was both teams’ reserves. Chicago was able to get 56 points out of their bench unit while the Hornets offense seemed to stagnate whenever the reserves would come into the game, as Charlotte only managed to get 34 points from their backups. Surely the return of Gerald Henderson will boost the second units productivity, but injuries have held the Hornets back from being able to achieve on court chemistry, especially with the teams reserve unit.

The starting unit got a large share of the minutes and responded as all five scored in double figures for the Hornets. MKG had another strong outing and finished with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists and big Al Jefferson had a solid game for the Hornets with 12 points and eight rebounds. Hairston finished the game with 12 points while going 3-6 from long range.

Two Hornets newcomers had their best games of the preseason so far as Lance Stephenson returned after missing the team’s last game to score 14 points and forward Marvin Williams contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. Both players looked more comfortable in the Hornets system, an encouraging sign going forward.

The Bulls’ point guards carried the team, as Derrick Rose scored 17 points and reserve guard Hinrich was red hot from the field, leading the Bulls in scoring with 26 points on 11-14 shooting. Third string point guard Aaron Brooks also chipped in with 13 points and three assists and offseason free agent addition Pau Gasol looked strong with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Taj Gibson added eight points and 10 rebounds.

Henderson sat out again for the Hornets as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury and Noah Vonleh is still recovering from sports hernia surgery.

The Hornets will be back in action tomorrow night when they travel to Phillips Arena to face their division foe the Atlanta Hawks.

you can follow David W. Walters @Original_DWade.

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Buzz Weekly: Hornets Grind Out Win in Washington

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Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

(Written by David W. Walters)

The Charlotte Hornets used some scrappy second half play to come away with a 96-86 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night in Washington, D.C. This was a tale of two teams, as they looked like mirror images of each other from one half to the next.
The game got off to a sloppy start with bad shooting and turnovers plaguing both teams, but the Wizards eventually woke up, getting out to a 27-18 lead after the first quarter. Charlotte kept up in the second quarter but was unable to chip away at the lead as the Hornets went into the locker room with a 41-50 deficit, due mostly to poor defense, more awful shooting and the Wizards bench coming up big in the first half.
Charlotte was hot coming out of the locker room as they outscored the Wizards, 25-18, to close the game to 66-68 after three quarters. The Hornets were on fire to end the third quarter, and they carried the momentum into in the fourth quarter, as they used a pair of free throws and threes from P.J. Hairston and Jannero Pargo to jump out to the lead in the fourth quarter. The Hornets outscored the Wizards 23-1 throughout a five-minute span, which included some big shots from the Hornets reserves. They eventually cooled off as they slowed to tempo to grind out the win but the damage had already been done.

Al Jefferson led the way for the Hornets on Friday night, scoring a team high 20 points to go with eight rebounds. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had his best game of the preseason so far as he stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, a team high 11 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Hairston and Pargo were key in the final period for Charlotte, and they finished with 11 and 12 points respectively as they shot a combined 5-7 from beyond the arc.

Kemba Walker, who was a game time decision, started the game and had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists and starting forward Marvin Williams played well with eight points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Point guard John Wall led the Wizards in scoring with 14 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Nene Hilario was a force down low for Washington, getting 10 points and three blocks in the first half alone.

The Wizards spread the scoring around and got strong play out of their bench players, with Rasual Butler chipping in nine points and veteran Andre Miller contributing eight points and five assists. Second year forward Otto Porter, who’s had an impressive exhibition season, had eight points and three steals. Paul Pierce scored 11 points but left the game just before halftime after bumping knees with Walker.

Gerald Henderson sat out the game with a hamstring injury, Lance Stephenson was out with a groin issue and Noah Vonleh was still recovering from a sports hernia. Bradley Beal missed the game for Washington.

The Hornets are back in action on Sunday night when they travel to Chicago to face Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls, and low and behold, the game will be televised on NBATV.

you can follow David W. Walters @Original_DWade.

Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards Preview

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VERIZON CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C., 7:00

 

Written by David W. Walters

 

Your Charlotte Hornets (2-2) are back on the road tonight as they visit the Verizon Center to face off against the Washington Wizards (4-1) in a southeast division matchup.  This will be the second meeting between these two teams this preseason, as the Hornets beat the Wizards last Friday, 99-86.

Last time these two teams played, the Hornets led throughout the game as they exhibited a much better team defense than we had seen in the opener.  The Wizards shot a paltry 37% from the field in Friday’s game, a percentage that would make it hard for any team to win a game, but the Hornets are coming off an awful shooting performance themselves shooting 34% in a 104-84 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

At this point, the Hornets just need to focus on getting out of the preseason alive and somewhat healthy.  Kemba Walker will sit out the game as he continues to recover from a knee contusion and Gerald Henderson suffered a setback after testing his hamstring out in practice.  The Hornets suffered yet another backcourt injury on Thursday as guard Lance Stephenson sat out the end of practice with what appears to be a groin injury.  More than likely he may sit out Fridays game as well, leaving either Gary Neal or rookie P.J. Hairston to start in his place.

The injuries so far this preseason has made it difficult for the Hornets to find much consistency and cohesion with a roster that features so many new faces.  Stephenson, who figures to be a featured player this season, has struggled at times as he works his way into the teams system and Marvin Williams, who was signed to help fill the void Josh McRoberts left, has also had a slow start to the preseason and has struggled in his role as a stretch forward, shooting only 3-15 in four games so far.  Meanwhile, rookie Noah Vonleh has begun a few 5-on-5 workouts but has yet to play this preseason and likely will sit out the teams remaining exhibitions.

An intriguing matchup to keep an eye on in this game is between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Otto Porter, as both young wing players are showing off improved games so far.  MKG has had a good start to the preseason, even though his retooled jump shot has been up and down so far.  He has averaged 9.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per outing throughout the exhibition season so far in his quest to secure his role as the teams starting small forward this season.  He has shot well from the free throw stripe though, which helps because of his penchant for driving to the basket and drawing contact.  MKG has an opportunity to make a statement tonight due to the teams injuries on the wing, so hopefully he can have a strong performance a build some consistency moving forward.

Second year forward Porter didn’t get much of a chance to blossom last season as Trevor Ariza played better than expected, but he has made the most of this preseason, particularly as injuries to Bradley Beal, Martell Webster and Glen Rice have arisen.  After a forgettable first game, Porter has averaged 14.5 points and just over five rebounds per game, including a 19 point, eight rebound, four assist and four steal game on Wednesday.   Expect these two long, athletic forwards to go at each other in tonight’s matchup.

 

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:

CHA                            WAS

PG       Roberts                      Wall

SG        Neal/Hairston           Pierce

SF        Kidd-Gilchrist             Porter

PF       Williams                     Nene

C          Jefferson                    Gortat

 

 

 

follow David W. Walters on Twitter @Original_DWade.

 

 

Photo credit: (NBAE/Getty Images)

 

Buzz Weekly: Hornets Go Cold In Hornets Cool School Game

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(Written by David W. Walters)

The Charlotte Hornets (2-2) fell behind early and never recovered in a 104-84 loss to the Detroit Pistons (3-1) on Wednesday.  The game had an 11:00 a.m. tip-off time to accommodate a raucous crowd made up of school kids that witnessed a poor shooting effort from the Hornets.

Not much went right for the Hornets in this one as the Pistons came into the game as one of the top passing teams of the preseason and they used that ball movement to accumulate 28 assists to Charlotte’s 15.  All that ball movement did make for plenty of giveaways, as the Pistons turned the ball over 14 times to the Hornets six turnovers, but Charlotte was unable to use that to their advantage as they shot 34% from the field and 14% from beyond the arc.  The Pistons, meanwhile, shot very well, knocking down 48% from the field and 40% from three-point range.

A glaring difference in the stats from the game was the rebounding difference.  The Pistons simply dominated the boards, grabbing 58 rebounds with 15 of them coming on the offensive side, while the Hornets only managed 36 rebound, with eight of them coming off the offensive glass.

The Hornets had fallen behind by 13 at the conclusion of the first quarter due to an uninspired effort on both ends of the floor.  The team woke up in the second quarter but was only able to keep up as both teams played up-tempo on the way to a 43-56 halftime deficit.  The Hornets came out of the locker room flat once again, looking sluggish and letting the Pistons extend their lead as they coated to an easy victory as they dominated Charlotte in nearly every phase of the game.

Gary Neal led the Hornets in scoring for the third time in four preseason games, scoring 20 points on 5-9 shooting and hitting all ten of his free throws.  Al Jefferson had his work cut out for him down low, but managed to put up ten points and seven rebounds while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist chipped in six points and seven boards of his own.

Brian Roberts started in place of Kemba Walker and scored ten points and Lance Stephenson played a team-high 33 minutes and put up eight points to go with three rebounds and three assists as he continues to find his way in the Hornets system.  Rookie P.J. Hairston knocked down two shots from long range on the way to ten points and Jason Maxiell saw his most time of the preseason, scoring five points and grabbing three boards.

The Pistons spread the minutes all over in this game with six players scoring in double figures.  Andre Drummond and Josh Smith both had double-doubles; Drummond scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds while Smith had 14 points and ten rebounds of his own.  Former Charlotte point guard D.J. Augustin had 16 points, six assists and four rebounds off the pine for Detroit.

Walker sat out the game to rest a knee contusion suffered on Monday night, while Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh sat out once again as they continue to work their way back from injuries of their own.

The Hornets are back in action on Friday night at 7 p.m. as they travel to Washington to face the Wizards for the second time this preseason.  Charlotte won their first matchup 99-86 in Greenville, S.C. last Friday.

 

you can follow David W. Walters on Twitter @Original_DWade.

 

 

 

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Hornets Hardball: Name The Starter, MKG or Hendo?

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(via Getty Images)

(Written By Chris Parette)

When Coach Steve Clifford said that he had four of his five starters named before training camp started, it came as no surprise which four he named. Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker, and new additions Lance Stephenson and Marvin Williams. Some thought it was a little weird that Williams was immediately named a starter with two first round picks in Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh seeking playing time, but Clifford is a fan of what Williams can bring outside shooting wise. He also played with Big Al in Utah so there shouldn’t be an issue getting acclimated with him down low.

Now the question remains: Who will be the 5th starter?

Coach Clifford has already indicated that the battle will be between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Gerald Henderson. If MKG wins, Lance Stephenson will play shooting guard, his natural position. If Hendo wins, Stephenson will play small forward, a position he will be undersized at being only 6’5¨.

Now for those who haven’t been paying too close attention to the Hornets offseason and training camp may not know about MKG’s reconstructed jump shot. MKG and Mark Price have spent a lot of time together reworking his form, and the results are honestly staggering

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He has looked much improved and more confident in the preseason, taking shots off the dribble and not hesitating to pull the trigger. Now he is no Ray Allen, and he may never be a great shooter, but with more and more time and practice, he can become a competent NBA level shooter. When you add that to his athletic ability and high motor on defense, he can legitimately live up to the expectations of being the number 2 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. If you pair him with Stephenson, you have a wing combo that can shut down any two guard and small forward in the NBA. If MKG can become a reliable shooter, it will help the floor spacing and make it much harder for opposing teams to double team Jefferson in the post.

Henderson is already an established offensive player who is also a solid defender. He does struggle at times on offense, however and has many games where he does little to no scoring. He often frustrates any Hornets fan with his fade away midrange jumper, which is his favorite and one of the least effective shots in the NBA. Hendo is still only an average at best 3-point shooter, and he shot 34% last season. He also only shot 43% from the field, which is not what you are looking for out of a guy who was signed a 3 year $18 million contract last offseason. He is however, an underrated athlete who will make a WOW play every once in awhile.

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Gerald did undergo offseason surgery to clean out scar tissue in his right wrist, which he has said caused him a lot of discomfort while dribbling and shooting last season. To make matters worse, Henderson suffered a hamstring injury only a few games into training camp, so he has been unable to play in the first three preseason games. This gives MKG a huge advantage to get the 5th starting role.

Defensively, Henderson is solid. He isn’t going to jump off the TV screen with his ball hawking or his shutdown ability, but he is a good athlete who isn’t a liability when the other team has the ball. The biggest problem starting him is moving Lance to small forward. I see this as potentially diminishing Lance’s offensive abilities. Not only will he be guarder by bigger forwards, but he will have to spend more energy trying to stop the other teams bigger and stronger small forwards. With Stephenson’s playmaking abilities you want him as fresh as possible. If he is guarding divisional small forwards like Paul Pierce, Paul Millsap, and Luol Deng, he is more likely to wear down quick.

Who should be the starter: Michael Kidd Gilchrist

If you asked me this last year, I would’ve said Henderson. Not being even a threat from three point range really limits an offense that heavily relies on post scoring. Now this doesn’t mean that Henderson and Stephenson won’t play together. In fact, I can see many offensive situations where Coach Clifford would rather have Henderson in there instead of Kidd-Gilchrist if the team needs a bucket. In addition to that, with the Jeffrey Taylor domestic violence situation looming, the Hornets don’t have another true small forward on the roster. If Taylor is gone, you will see many different wing combinations of Stephenson, Henderson, MKG, PJ Hairston and Gary Neal.

All that being said, with a step forward on offense by Kidd-Gilchrist and the elite defensive talent he has, I think MKG should and will be the starter on October 29th for the Hornets.

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