BrewPublik & Bring Back the Buzz (Review 1 of 2)



Around a month ago we partnered up with “BrewPublik”, and they hooked my brother and I up with our own crates. Unfortunately Evan has yet to come back to Charlotte since the crates were delivered but mine was consumed awhile go. In light of the amazing experience I had, I have decided to review the 4 beers that were tailored  to fit my tastes. 



1. Fullsteam Brewary – Cack-A-Lacky Ginger Pale Ale 

Out of the 4 beers this one was without a doubt the most unique. It was incredibly smooth with a very unique ginger after taste. If I am not mistaken the ginger used to create the beer comes from North Carolina (hence the name, they are also brewed out of Durham, NC)



2. NoDa Brewery – Hop Drop n’ Roll India Pale Ale

This beer was without a doubt my favorite of the beer. Hop Drop n’ Roll  is hands down the best IPA I have ever had. It has loads of citrus flavor without being overbearing. They clearly have the balance down with the hops and the alcohol does not take over the beer. To me nothing can ruin an IPA quicker than the alcohol being too strong. I definitely recommend this beer



3. Great Lakes Brewery – Commodore Perry IPA

To me this one was not bad but forgettable. There was nothing that stood out, in a good or bad way. The beer was very balanced, had a malty flavor but left me wanting more. I had never tried anything from Great Lakes Brewary before but I did manage to look on their website and they had a beer called “Burning River” that I’m interested in trying. 



4. Stone – Levitation American Pale Ale

I was not a fan of this beer. It came across to watery and very bitter. I usually don’t mind a bitter beer but, if it is going to be bitter I want the carbonation to be stronger. The alcohol content seemed to be relatively low for the style of beer. 

IMG_4130

HORNETS HARDBALL: Mo Williams, Less Problems (feat. The Notorious C.H.O)

Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets - Game Five

(Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports was the first to report on Charlotte’s trade sending Gary Neal and a second round pick, for  guards Mo Williams and Troy Daniels. Now on the surface it seems like a trade that doesn’t move the needle much, but in fact it could be very important.

Any Hornets fan who has consistently watched games this season couldn’t help but to be frustrated by Gary Neal. He is a shooter who was struggling to shoot. Neal shot over 40% last year from three, and was shooting an underwhelming 28% this season. Gary has always been a guy that Coach Steve Clifford has been high on. He always talked about how the then Bobcats offense improved from near the bottom of the league up to about league average when Neal was acquired from Milwaukee last season. After the trade Tuesday, Clifford had these comments about Neal:

“He to me is a terrific offensive substitute. He can come in just like he did in San Antonio where his numbers were very efficient and he scored close to ten a night. What happened to him here as much as anything is, if you watch the film closely, he was treated as a primary scorer here once he got going early on in the year. He got more attention many nights than anybody else did except for Al and Kemba. So when teams commit to taking a guy like him out of the game, he just doesn’t have the room to play.”

The Hornets are a very limited team offensively, that is no shock to anybody. It is like watching a team from the 70’s. There is very little floor spacing in the starting lineup, and the bench isn’t much better. A bench unit that features Brian Roberts, Lance Stephenson, Gary Neal, Marvin Williams and Biz/Maxiell doesn’t have a ton of offensive talent and shot creating ability. Teams notice that Gary is the best of that group at creating his own shot, and they aimed to shut that down. Gary also was a defensive liability on a nightly basis and often gave up more points than he was creating. If he finds the right team where he isn’t a number one option on the floor, he can be a real asset.

What Charlotte acquired however, should be an upgrade. They are getting a veteran point guard in Mo Williams who can shoot and run an offense effectively. Williams is a career 38% three-point shooter who should slide nicely in the second unit. Williams is obviously insurance for injured Kemba Walker who underwent knee surgery on January 28th. Mo is known as a scorer, which is something the Hornets desperately need. Williams went off for 52 points earlier this year against the Pacers, and is a player with valuable playoff experience that he can bring to the team. Now I find it interesting to see how he and Lance Stephenson fit together. Mo, like Kemba, is a ball dominant point guard, and Lance is also a guy who needs the ball to create offense. It will be interesting how Coach Clifford uses them together. I personally think that you can give them both possessions handing the ball, and Mo would be a great off ball catch and shoot type of guy. It will be interesting to see how well Mo plays, and if he plays well enough, I think he will surpass Roberts as the backup point guard when Kemba comes back.

Charlotte also acquired Troy Daniels, who was undrafted in 2013 and actually on the Bobcats 2013 Summer League team. He is a 6’4 shooting guard who really can shoot. He only shot 32% from three in Minnesota, but he only averaged eight minutes per game. However, during last years playoffs with the Houston Rockets, Daniels came off the bench and really contributed, averaging 7.8 points in 17 minutes while shooting 53% percent from three. In the D-League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, he was an All-Star who shot 40% from three and averaged 21.5 points per game. He  actually broke the NBA D-League record for 3-pointers made in a single season with 153 and also tied the NBA D-League record for 3-point field goals made in a game with 10. He isn’t however more than a shooter. Daniels isn’t a great ball handler or defender, but he does have one valuable skill, the ability to shoot. Now I don’t think he will crack the rotation with shooting guards including Henderson, Stephenson, and Hairston, but he can be decent cheap injury insurance and could come in a game and hit a couple threes.

All in all, I think this trade is a win for the Hornets. They trade an expiring contract in Neal for an expiring contract upgrade at a needed position in Mo Williams. They also trade a second round pick they acquired in the 2014 draft trade of PJ Hairston for Shabazz Napier, for a guy in Daniels who is young and has some potential. Mainly, the Hornets have another point guard to use with Kemba’s injury which takes Lance Stephenson off the point. The main thing that Steve Clifford stressed in a couple post trade interviews was having the ability to put players back at their natural position, and not have non-point guards like Stephenson and Neal having to run an offense. This should improve the Hornets chances of sneaking into the playoffs and it doesn’t hurt the team long term, which is something GM Rich Cho wanted to avoid.

BUZZ WEEKLY: HORNETS FIND FOCUS MINUS WALKER

Hendo Roberts

LAST WEEKS ACTION…

It seems the Charlotte Hornets (21-27) have found some chemistry despite the injury issues that have dogged the team all season.  Charlotte finds themselves in the seventh spot in the eastern conference playoff picture after posting a 10-4 record in the month of January to lift themselves out of the doldrums of the league.  They also have a very favorable schedule leading up to the leagues All-Star break in mid-February so hopefully they will continue their string of success to carry some momentum into the break.

The Cavs blew the doors off the Hornets in Cleveland, 90-129, in what was an ugly game from the start.  The Cavs were in the middle of an offensive surge and they immediately pounced on the streaking Hornets, who had won eight of nine leading up to this contest.  There isn’t much to say about this game except for it seemed that the Hornets were just in the wrong place at the wrong time….it happens in the league like that sometimes.

Next up the Hornets hosted the New York Knicks, minus star forward Carmelo Anthony.  The Knicks roster was loaded up with mostly no-name players (three of New York’s starters were currently on 10-day contracts) but they clearly remembered the Hornets stomping them out on their home court just a couple weeks earlier.  This game wasn’t a high scoring affair by any means, yet the Hornets were able to get a victory in a 76-71 win behind point guard Brian Roberts’ 17 points.

After that the team traveled to San Antonio to face the Spurs for the second time in two weeks.  They came up short, 86-95, despite keeping the game close after making a nice run in the third quarter.  The Hornets didn’t have an answer for Spurs guard Tony Parker, who effectively got to the middle against the slower Roberts.

Cody Dunk

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Next the Hornets traveled to Denver for another meeting with a struggling Nuggets team.  The first matchup between these two teams was a blowout and this one was no different as the Hornets took a 32-point lead into the locker room at halftime.  Cody Zeller scored 14 points in the first quarter and finished with a career high 21 for the game.

And this past Monday, the Hornets traveled to our nation’s capital to face a strong Wizards team that has been in an offensive funk as of late.  This game was particularly entertaining throughout the contest, but the Hornets showed their toughness in holding off Washington for a 92-88 victory over their southeastern conference opponents.

 

WHAT TO MAKE OF THE PAST WEEK…

Big Al is back to his old self, consistently putting up strong numbers and carrying this team on his back from the left block.  Most recently, Jefferson scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against Washington, tallying his team-high 13th double-double of the season.  In his seven contests since returning to the lineup after a nine-game absence due to a groin strain, Jefferson has scored in double figures five times and is averaging 14.3 points and 8.7 rebounds.

MKG driving

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

MKG is developing into a fantastic player for the Hornets, giving the team an added touch of hustle and energy on both ends of the floor.  Kidd-Gilchrist has scored in double figures in five straight games, tying the longest streak of his career, and he is averaging 11.6 points and 9.1 rebounds over his last 17 games, which include 13 double-figure scoring games and six double-doubles.

It seems that Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson is finding his niche with the team as well, averaging 7.2 assists over his last seven games. He handed out a career-high 13 assists on Jan. 31 against Denver.  It’s encouraging to see this kind of production out of Stephenson, as his improved play (and improved body language) has shown that he may yet be a cognitive piece to the Hornets puzzle.

The blowout loss in Denver allowed us to get a decent look at Noah Vonleh.  The seldom used rookie played 16 minutes and responded with a career high 10 points, seven rebounds to go with two blocks in what was easily the best game of his career.  Hopefully this will serve as a confidence builder for the young forward and maybe he is finally getting up to speed where he can be productive moving forward.

When Kemba went down for a minimum of six weeks because of knee surgery, trade rumors began to swirl around the team; some scenarios being more ridiculous than others.  But it looks like the Hornets already had an answer on their roster in Roberts, who has filled in admirably in Walker’s absence.  Roberts has starting experience from his days in New Orleans, where he filled in at times due to injuries, and that was what made him particularly appealing to the Hornets this offseason.  Roberts may not have the defensive speed that Walker provides, but he takes care of the ball and also brings a nice scoring touch.

MKG roberts

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Speaking about taking care of the ball, Charlotte is committing the fewest turnovers in the NBA this season, averaging just 11.7 per game.  Charlotte also enters tonight’s game allowing the fewest offensive rebounds in the NBA (8.5) and leading the league in defensive rebound percentage (.799).  Combine that with what has developed into one of the leagues stingiest defenses, and its easy to see where the Hornets recent success has come from.

 

MOVING FORWARD…

As I mentioned earlier in the article, the Hornets have a favorable schedule leading up to the All-Star break.

First the Hornets will face a familiar opponent in the Wizards at the Hive in a Thursday night matchup.  Washington will surely have a bad taste in their mouth following Mondays defeat against the Hornets, but they will also be on their second game of a back to back after losing to the Hawks on Wednesday night for their fourth consecutive loss.  This should be a scrappy game, with the Hornets trying to stay hot and the Wizards trying to right the ship in an important southeastern division matchup.

The Hornets then travel up north to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Saturday night.  The last time these two teams met, the Hornets ran away 109-91 as Philly played listlessly all night long.  Nothing much has changed for the 76ers, as they rank dead last in scoring and in the bottom third of the league in most offensive and defensive categories.  Look for Charlotte to come out strong and finish this team off early; this should be a win but it could also be a trap game for the Hornets.

Indiana comes to the Hive on Sunday for another matchup in what has been a hard fought series so far this season.  Both games have been scrappy, low scoring affairs with the Pacers taking the first game in Indiana on a last second tip-in and the Hornets winning in OT here in Charlotte just a few weeks ago.  Look for the same type of game between these two teams this time around, as both teams are near the top of the league in defense and rebounding.

The last game before an extended 10-day rest for the Hornets is a matchup against the Detroit Pistons.  The Pistons enjoyed a surge of wins in January as well but then lost starting point guard Brandon Jennings to a season ending injury.  In steps former Charlotte point guard D.J. Augustin, who always seems to find himself in the right place at the right time as a fill-in for injured starters.  Augustin has played fantastic as Detroit’s starting point guard and will surely being playing hard against the team that drafted him in the city where he was once the starting point man.  The Pistons have a strong frontcourt, and it shows in their rebounding numbers.

With a schedule like this, it’s easy to see the Hornets going 4-0 or 3-1 into the break.  The extended break after the All-Star weekend amounts to a bye week for Charlotte and will serve to give the Hornets time for healing and fine tuning what has worked for them so far this season.

What was once looking like a lost season is now beginning to look like what we had expected coming into this year.  The Buzz is Back Hornets fans!  Until next time, KEEP BUZZING!!!

you can follow David W. Walters @Original_DWade.

Seattle Supersonics Uniform Design

Big Dub strikes again and has created a concept portfolio for the return of the Seattle Supersonics below is the design with its notes explaining every little detail.

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DESIGN NOTES

– Overall theme is from the 1985-1994 era which they borrowed from for their 2001 update.
– City Silhouette, solid color logo is a take on a similar version worn during the above period. It’s now a secondary placed at the ‘buckle’ of the short.
– Sonic Ball, logo is an updated version of the 1995-2000 logo.
– The tapered ends to the short stripe creates the Sonic Boom shape when paired with the jersey. The same shape that is featured in the Sonic Ball logo

BUZZ WEEKLY: THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Written by David W. Walters

LAST WEEKS ACTION…

The Charlotte Hornets (18-25) took full advantage of a favorable schedule during a weeklong home stand, winning three out of four games to push their record in their last nine contests to 8-1 following what had been a miserable start to the season.

The Hornets dropped a very competitive game against the defending champion Spurs, but then they went on a three game win streak, knocking off the Pacers in overtime, smashing the Timberwolves in a Monday matinee and finishing it off by withstanding a late charge from a scrappy Miami Heat squad.

More impressive than the record is the return of the stingy Charlotte defense that became a trademark for the team during last seasons run to the playoffs.  The Hornets have held their last three opponents to 80 points or less, becoming the first team in the NBA to do so since March 2013. They have also held their opponents under 100 points in 10 consecutive games, the longest streak in the NBA this season.

stats

 

On top of the Hornets rediscovered defensive intensity, they are also beginning to work their way back to full strength.  Lance Stephenson returned to the lineup last week as did Al Jefferson.  While Kemba’s knee may be a lingering issue for the season, he did return in the Hornets last game against Miami to the tune of 15 points.  The Hornets’ season will go as Kemba goes, so Charlotte has to hope that his knee will hold up throughout the rest of the season as the team makes a push to get into the playoffs.

Speaking of playoffs, if the season ended today, the Hornets would be tied for the eighth spot in the eastern conference with the Nets.  Brooklyn and Charlotte are two teams headed in different directions and it seems that the Detroit Pistons, surging since the release of Josh Smith, will be the Hornets best competition for one of those last playoff spots.

 

WHAT TO MAKE OF THE PAST WEEK…

What makes the Hornets recent run of success that much more impressive is the fact that they have won despite the revolving door in the training room.  Charlotte has won with different lineups as Big Al, Kemba, Lance and others have dealt with various injuries.  The extra minutes have served to fortify the reserves as they have gotten more experience with the different lineups, giving most everyone the opportunity to develop chemistry within the team.  The weeklong home stand has given players the chance for much needed rest and it has provided other players with the time to rehab their injuries.

Among the players that have benefitted from the extra minutes is Biyombo, who is in the final year of his rookie contract.  Biz has been up and down throughout his career and, just when most thought that he may never live up to his potential, he has really begun to put together an impressive run himself.  Over his last five games he has averaged 10.8 points and while shooting .606% from the field, 11.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.  I’ll focus more on Biyombo’s season and his impending future with the Hornets in more depth after this weekend, but he has definitely shown a vast improvement, and that can only be encouraging for Charlotte moving forward.

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Coach Clifford has brought Stephenson back from injury slowly, yet it appears that he is gelling with his teammates better recently.  Maybe it helped that he had some time to step away from all the expectations and trade rumors and just watch and become more familiar with the system.  Either way, its nice to see him feeling more comfortable with his game, particularly since it seems, at the moment, that he will remain on the roster.

MOVING FORWARD…

The Hornets finish out the month with a decent slate of games, starting with a visit to Cleveland to face LeBron and the Cavaliers on Friday night.  This will be the third matchup this season for these two teams; Charlotte has dropped their previous two meetings; 88-97 in Cleveland and 87-91 at the Hive.

The Cavaliers have had a roller coaster season with their new additions and each time it seems they’ve found their way, they drop another game that makes us wonder if this experiment can work out.  Cleveland remains a tough opponent for the Hornets though, and they will have their hands full with the Cavs big three of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and LeBron James.  MKG figures to draw the defensive assignment on James, making this the matchup to watch for this game.

It will also be interesting to see how the Hornets handle Love as he tends to stretch the floor with his shooting and playmaking skills.  Hornets centers Jefferson and Biyombo do most of their work in the post so, most likely, either Marvin Williams or Cody Zeller will draw the assignment there.

The Hornets will have to slow the Cavs transition attack to gain an advantage, and Cleveland’s offense has a tendency to stall out, so as long as the Hornets can keep up their suffocating defensive pace, they have a good chance to come out on top in this one.

The Hornets are back in action the next night as the face the New York Knicks for the final time this season at the Hive.  The Hornets are 2-1 in the teams previous two meetings with the last matchup being a complete blowout as Charlotte ran away 110-82.  At one point in the game, the Hornets led by over 40 points, while that may not be the case this time, Charlotte needs to capitalize on their opportunity to get another victory under their belt against a team that is reeling and shows no signs of pulling it together anytime soon.

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

New York remains near the bottom of the league in most categories but they are particularly awful on offense, with the day-to-day Carmelo Anthony being the only real offensive threat the Knicks have.  Look for Charlotte’s defense to snuff this one out early, I assume this Knicks team will have a hard time finding a way to score against a hot Hornets D.

The Hornets get a few days off to rest until Wednesday, when they face the San Antonio Spurs again, this time in Texas.  Charlotte played a strong game the last time these two teams faced each other with an energetic Biyombo leading the way with 12 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks while filling in for the injured Jefferson.

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Manu Ginobli gave the Hornets all kinds of problems in their matchup in Charlotte last week with 27 points on 10-14 shooting.  Somebody always steps up to get buckets for the Spurs against the Hornets and with the way San Antonio moves the ball gives them a myriad of options to score with plus, the Spurs have young forward Kawhi Leonard back in the lineup this time around.

The Hornets travel to Denver to close out the month of January, and this gives them another winnable situation on the road.  The Nuggets have had their share of problems so far this season yet they have managed to carve out a decent record in the daunting western conference.  Denver maintains an uptempo pace on offense, scoring almost 102 points per contest.  That offense, combined with their strong rebounding is going to test the Hornets defense.

Charlotte will have to contend with the “Manimal” Kenneth Faried, Denver’s strong and ultra athletic forward down low.  Most recently, he is coming off a 26 point, 14 rebound performance against the Spurs and he tends to have good games against Charlotte, so look for this to be an important matchup to watch.  Walker vs. Ty Lawson will be a great matchup in this game as well since both point guards heavily dictate the pace of their respective teams offenses.

The Hornets have an opportunity to go 2-2 or even possibly 3-1 to finish out the month, which would punctuate a remarkable turnaround for a Hornets team that came into 2015 on life support.  Enjoy the action Hornets fans and, until next time, KEEP BUZZING!!!

 

you can follow David W. Walters @Original_DWade.

 

 

Beer & Basketball go together like BrewPublik & Bring Back the Buzz

BrewPublik

Basketball and Beer go together like Bring Back the Buzz and BREWPUBLIK.

We just received our custom 12 packs (4 different beers with an info sheet for each one) delivered to my place by local company “BrewPublik” just in time for tonight’s Charlotte Hornets game versus the New York Knicks. As soon as I opened my magnificent wooden crate filled with beers chosen to match my specific tastes….I knew this was a match made in heaven.

We always make a point to help promote local whenever possible, and BrewPublik reps Buzz City just as proudly as our followers.

Now do yourself a flavor, like their page, and Bring Back the Buzz!

website: http://www.brewpublik.com/#home

Reviews on the way….. its #BeerWeek#BringingBackTheBuzz

Big Dub’s Charlotte Hornets Design Portfolio

There were numbers behind the movement for the name change  from Bobcats to Hornets but there was something about Big Dub’s design that gave it a professional touch, made it real and made the skeptics begin to Beelieve!

His designs are what went viral, made it to ESPN and made the rest of the country turn an ear to Charlotte before the Bobcats would even give us the time of day. His designs are now so synonymous with the Hornets that the untrained Hornets Fan’s eyes would believe that at one point or another this was our logo because it is EVERYWHERE.

There are dozens of people who don’t have the old or new Hornets logo tattooed on their body but will forever have Big Dub’s design etched on their flesh because it is so powerful and has taken a life of its own.

This guy has talent. He knows how to build a brand identity and even though he is from New Orleans all of us in Charlotte owe him a huge THANK YOU!


 

HORNETS CONCEPT LOGOS


 

 

UNIFORMS


COURTS


BRING BACK THE BUZZ LOGOS


OTHER DESIGNS