Author Archives: Scotty & Evan

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.

POLL: Who Should Come In After Kemba? Pargo or Roberts?

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It may seem a little premature to discuss this but it is worth asking after Pargo’s performance last night.

Hornets Use BIG Finish to Clinch Victory at the Hive

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Written by David W. Walters

 

The fans at Time Warner Cable Arena were buzzing with excitement in anticipation of the first game at home as the Charlotte Hornets (2-1), and the home team didn’t disappoint, as they battled it out to a gritty 99-97 victory over the Orlando Magic (2-1) on Monday night.

Third-string point guard Jannero Pargo continued his hot shooting this preseason after having to come in for Kemba Walker, who suffered a left knee contusion in the third quarter and would not return.  Pargo scored 16 points for the Hornets on 60 percent shooting from the field, including two key three-pointers as the Hornets rallied back from a fourth quarter deficit.

The Hornets looked good throughout the game with the exception of the third quarter, where they were outscored 28-16, setting up what proved to be a dramatic finish at the Hive.  Al Jefferson led Charlotte in scoring with 20 points, including hitting some key free throws and a clutch six-footer to push the lead to four while new starting forward Marvin Williams was held scoreless, but managed to grab seven rebounds.  Bismack Biyombo had his best game of the exhibition season with seven points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots and Gary Neal scored 10 points with three assists.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a strong game driving to the basket and drawing contact, putting up 14 points to go with four rebounds and three blocks.  MKG looked more comfortable with his new shooting form and, more importantly, he continued to shoot well from the charity stripe this preseason.  Walker was stuffing the stat sheet with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists before leaving the game and Lance Stephenson had eight points, three rebounds and four assists but committed four turnovers as he continues to work his way into the Hornets offense.

Elfrid Payton had another good all-around game for the Magic, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists.  Payton pulled the game to within two in the final minute and also had two chances to tie the score at the end of the game, but his last second layup was blocked by Jefferson.  Tobias Harris chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds while former Hornet Ben Gordon led Orlando in scoring with 17 points.

Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh sat out the game for Charlotte while Victor Oladipo, who has yet to play this preseason, missed the game for the Magic.

The Hornets are back in action on Wednesday with an 11:00 a.m.  tip-off at the Hive against the Detroit Pistons (2-1), who are coming off a 89-91 loss to the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

 

follow David W.Walters on Twitter @Original_DWade.

 

 

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Charlotte Hornets VS Orlando Magic Preview

CHARLOTTE HORNETS VS. ORLANDO MAGIC PREVIEW

TIME WARNER CABLE ARENA, CHARLOTTE, N.C.  7:00 P.M.

 

Big Al

Big Al

The Charlotte Hornets (1-1) make their first home appearance of the preseason on Monday night as they face off against the Orlando Magic (2-0) in a southeast division preview.  Charlotte won their last outing on Friday when they beat the Washington Wizards in convincing fashion.  The Hornets led from the beginning in that contest and never relinquished the lead on their way to a 99-86 victory in Greenville, S.C.

 

One of the matchups to watch in this one will be at the center position, where the Hornets’ Al Jefferson will go up against Nikola Vucevic for the Magic.  Jefferson has had a solid preseason so far, averaging 11.5 points and nine rebounds per game so far.  Big Al is coming off a monster second half of the season last year, as he averaged 24.5 ppg and 11.4 rpg after the All-Star break.  Expect more of the same this season as Jefferson enters his second year with the team and is showing no signs of the plantar fasciitis that slowed him in last seasons first round playoff exit.  Vucevic, a young and underrated post player coming off an Achilles injury, has also had a good start to the exhibition season, averaging 14 points and six rebounds per game.  Both players occupy a lot of space under the basket and this will surely be a matchup to keep an eye on as they both get plenty of touches in their teams’ offensive systems.

 

Another matchup to keep an eye on is the one between Kemba Walker and rookie point guard Elfird Payton.  Walker has played well over the first two games of the preseason, averaging 13 points and 4.5 assists per contest.  He is looking to build off a career year last season, one that saw him take his game to another level in the playoffs.  The addition of his new backcourt mate Lance Stephenson should only help that cause, giving him someone to share ball handling duties with and enabling him to play off the ball more often.  Payton was drafted with the 10th pick of the first round in this years draft to pair with Victor Oladipo, the athletic second year guard for the Magic.  Together, they form an ultra athletically talented backcourt of the future for the Magic.  Payton was impressive in the summer league and has looked great so far in his first two games, scoring eight points to go with five rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal in his teams last outing.

 

Gary Neal has led the Hornets in scoring this preseason, scoring 16.5 points per outing and shooting an efficient 67% from beyond the arc.  Together with rookie guard P.J. Hairston and third string point guard Jannero Pargo, the team has shot well from outside, an encouraging sign for one of the worst three point shooting teams in the league.  The Hornets showed up on defense last Friday, after mailing it in during their first exhibition game, and the offense also came to life as the ball moved well as all the starters racked up at least three assists a piece.  This is no doubt an exciting game for the team, as this will be their first game in front of their home fans as the Charlotte Hornets.

 

Stephenson is back in the lineup after sitting out the Hornets last game with a toe injury.  Oladipo is expected to miss his third straight game of the preseason as he recovers from a right MCL sprain; Evan Fournier will start in his place.

 

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:

CHA                            ORL

PG       Walker                        Payton

SG        Stephenson                Oladipo

SF        Kidd-Gilchrist             Harkless

PF       Williams                     Harris

C          Jefferson                    Vucevic

 

 

 

follow David W. Walters on Twitter @Original_DWade.

 

 

Photo credit: (NBAE/Getty Images)

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