The 4 BIGGEST reasons why the Hornets missed the Playoffs


The Four Biggest Reasons the Hornets Missed the Playoffs by Chris Parette

Are you disappointed? Are you confused? Have you drank yourself into a spiral of depression? Are you wondering what went wrong with this roller coaster of a Hornets season? Me too. We all are. Here is what went wrong:

Lance Stephenson’s Disappointment

When the Hornets signed Lance Stephenson to a 3-year $27 million contract on July 18, 2014, many people looked at the deal as a steal for the Hornets. Sure Lance had some attitude issues, but the talent was clearly there. It was worth taking a risk to sign a player with the talent Lance showed in his time in Indiana. Funny how things change in less than a year. That deal is now looked at as a horrible overpay for a guy who was disappointing in his first year in Charlotte, to put it nicely. From Indiana to Charlotte, his field goal percentage dropped by 12%, 3-point percentage by 18%, and free throw percentage by 9%. At the beginning of the year, it seemed like he just needed to get acclimated to his new Hornets teammates; but as the season wore on, it became obvious he just didn’t fit in. Coach Clifford made it clear during Stephenson’s DNP’s towards the end of the year that he just couldn’t find lineups that played well with Lance on the floor. That literally might be the worst thing that could be said about you when it comes to basketball.

I certainly hope that this isn’t a case where a player finally gets a nice paycheck and no longer puts the time in to improve as a player. I certainly understand a player who doesn’t fit into a certain system or on a certain team, but the fact that you shoot 17% from 3 (very often unguarded) after shooting a league average 35% the year before, is a VERY alarming stat. According to Basketball Reference, Lance’s 17.1% from 3 is the worst in NBA history with at least 100 attempts. There have been some arguments that it is the players on the court that surround Lance. To compare apples to apples, the lineup of Kemba, MKG, Marvin, Al and Gerald scored 12 points more and allowed 16 points less per 100 possessions than the same lineup without Gerald and with Lance. That is downright awful. Not only was he a liability offensively, but to many peoples surprise, he was equally as bad on defense.

I would expect the Hornets to try to move Lance this summer but be unable to do so since his stock is so low. Luckily, the team has a team option after next season and may be able to move him as a more valuable expiring contract.


Look, I understand that every team in the league has to deal with injuries, and I hate to use this as an excuse, but the Hornets were particularly stricken by the injury bug. Here are the number of games missed by player due to injury:

Kemba Walker: 21

Al Jefferson: 17

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: 27

Cody Zeller: 20

Bismack Biyombo: 14

These are five of the nine players with the most minutes on the team, despite the number of games missed. Injuries to players that play as often as these guys do really mess up rotations and chemistry, especially when four of these five are the teams usual starters. With no Kemba or Al you really take a hit offensively. With no MKG or Biz, you take a big hit defensively.

Lack of Talent/Bad Decision Making

Would you like to hear an interesting stat? The Hornets are paying Tyrus Thomas $9 million this season!

I know many Hornets fans are quick to blame Coach Clifford for this teams lack of success this year. While I would agree that he hasn’t been great this season, I don’t really think he is to blame. This team flat out doesn’t have the talent to be a legitimate playoff threat. The Hornets are the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA this season. Also, they had the second worst overall shooting percentage in the league. This team plays basketball like it is 1970 and there is no three-point line. Pick and rolls. Low post feeds. Mid-range jumpers (I’m looking at you Gerald Henderson). The offense is so vanilla and basic that the Hornets had the least amount of turnovers in the league this season.

Depending on who you ask, Kemba Walker is somewhere between the 10th and 15th best point guards in the NBA, but he is arguably the best player on this team (I disagree, but even Clifford has said this). He can score but he is often inefficient and takes shots that he shouldn’t. Coach Clifford said in his exit press conference on Thursday that on an ideal team, Kemba would be your 3rd or 4th best scoring potion.

This teams best offensive weapon is a declining low post center who is an absolute liability on defense. Even though he had a hard time staying on the court this season, he still however was one of the most efficient low post scorers in the NBA according to Synergy Sports:


So as you can see, he still is quite efficient, but he is having a hard problem staying healthy. He mentioned in his exit press conference on Thursday that he will most likely opt in to the final year of his contract, and would like to try to lose 25 pounds, because his weight is beginning to catch up with him as he gets more miles on his legs.

MKG still isn’t ready to be a serious offensive weapon despite his defensive excellence; and Cody Zeller is inconsistent game to game scoring and still commits frustrating fouls. Believe it or not, Gerald may be the most consistent player on the team, and that is a problem. He is a competent NBA scorer and defender, but that is about it. If you are relying on him to make a lot of plays, it probably won’t go well for your team offensively.

Coming off the bench, I think the addition of Mo Williams was a good one. He can often be a shoot first point guard, but on a team that struggles to score that isn’t the worst thing in the world. The offseason addition of Marvin Williams was decent. He shot 35% from 3 this year, which is alright for a “stretch 4″, but personally I would rather have the $7 million he is making per year back and give Noah Vonleh more minutes. Lance is what Lance is (no bueno). Biz can protect the rim but has a hard time catching a ball or doing anything on offensive for that matter.

I hear a lot of Hornets fans screaming at the top of their lungs for PJ Hairston to play more, but he isn’t ready for real NBA minutes. Yes, he is a three-point specialist. Problem is he shot 30% from 3 this year, and 60% of his shots while on the floor came from downtown. If he isn’t hitting his shots, he literally does nothing else on offense and often looks lost on defense.

I attribute a lot of these problems to bad drafting. in the last five seasons. For example, here is a list of notable players drafted after Biz at number seven in the 2011 draft: Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Kenneth Faried, Reggie Jackson, Jimmy Butler, Chandler Parsons. I do understand you won’t hit a homerun every draft, but there are a countless number of players that the Hornets missed out on in the last half decade. Rich Cho & Co. need to do a better job this year with their projected 9th overall pick.

Lastly, the thing that everybody seems to forget about is the loss of Josh McRoberts. He made plays for everyone last season. A lot of the offense ran through him, and he made great passes to set up other players. He brought much more playmaking to the table than Cody/Marvin have, and he is a big reason for the offensive drop off this year.

Late Game Failures

Here is where you can start to blame Coach Clifford. There were far too many blown leads in the fourth quarter this year that a better coached team wouldn’t allow to happen. I specifically remember a game earlier in the season against Orlando where the Hornets blew a 20 point fourth quarter lead to lose. This was one of the few games where I remember where I was when I found out the lead was blown. I was leaving work and I looked at the score of the game. In the third quarter Charlotte was up by 23. I thought to myself “This one is over”. Well, it wasn’t. I pulled into the driveway, looked at my ESPN ScoreCenter App and gave out a “WHAT THE HELL”. We lost….but how?

For as good as a defensive coach that Steve Clifford is, he isn’t the greatest offensively. This team becomes extremely difficult. So often, the play is Pick and Roll with Kemba and Al. This may sound like a decent idea to run with your two best offensive players; but when you have MKG, Cody, and Gerald/Lance, you have no floor spacing and it becomes easier to stop. A Kyrie Irving/Timofey Mozgov P&R works better when you have Kevin Love, JR Smith and Lebron on the floor. This is where the awful three-point shooting comes back into play.

The other common late game play that gets drawn up is the Big Al on the left block. When you know an Al Jefferson post up is coming, it also becomes easy to stop. You can double team him and be less concerned about him hitting someone for an open three when you don’t have weapons to do so.

All of this basically means that the Hornets become too easy to stop. When you can’t consistently score, good luck holding late game leads.

So there it is. It sure is going to be an interesting offseason for the Hornets. Big Al has a $13.5 million player option. They also likely have a top 10 pick, Mo Williams will be a free agent, and we will see if the front office decides to give Biz a qualifying offer. Hopefully Rich Cho makes some good decisions this offseason because if he doesn’t, it may be his last offseason in Charlotte.

Hornets Get Back To BIZ-Ness Against The Brooklyn Nets

After a hard loss on the road to the Chicago Bulls, it is time for the Hornets to get focused and re-evaluate their game plan against their next game, against the Brooklyn Nets, to keep a shot at their playoff hopes.

With Big Al out and Zeller day to day, the Hornets look to Bismack Biyombo to help defend the hive tonight against the Nets.

Bis has had a solid season with

vs. Brooklyn 2 21.5 .667 9.0 0.5 1.0 0.0 3.5 5.5

Biz needs to be aware that the Nets are most likely going to target him and try harder to draw fouls off of him when attacking the rim, to avoid this he needs to make sure to play aggressive defense but to play feet planted-hands up defense and be more worried about making sure they are un-successful at drawing easy points from fouls then tough trick shot baskets.

Rebounds are also an important factor that Biz needs to contribute big time in, with Big Al out it is up to him to give the Hornets big time second chances as well as preventing the Nets from getting easy second chances for points.

This game is  still big for playoff hopes for Charlotte, tonight all Hornets fans should chant “In Biz We Trust.”

Joe Shomaker is young at only 15 but he is one of the most talented editors we have come across in our years of doing this. So naturally when he approached us we had to scoop him up and throw him on the Bring Back the Buzz Blog Team. We just hope the young Padawan takes his talent… not to South Beach BUT to college and we can some day bee blessed to see his work being used by either the Panthers or Hornets!

Here is some of his work for Bring Back the Buzz…




My name is Joe Shomaker and I am a graphic artist for Bring Back The Buzz. I’ve been working with Photoshop for a year and a half and I’m glad to be a part of the page! I am from Northern Virginia but I am a die hard Hornets and Panthers fan!

Follow me on Twitter @J3_Digital


Joe Shomaker Edits

Charlotte Hornets All-Time Starting Lineup


Despite being one of the newer teams to the NBA, the Charlotte Hornets have had some outstanding players come through their franchise. In a fantasy scenario, it would certainly be something to see this group play together in their prime for just one game. Here is a look at the all-time starting 5 for the Charlotte Hornets. Please note that the NBA considers the Charlotte Bobcats from 2004-2014 as part of the franchise history, not the New Orleans Hornets.


Baron Davis

When Baron Davis 1st arrived in Charlotte as a young lottery pick, people saw him as a very inefficient point guard who took bad shots. He only shot 42% from the field his rookie year, and his 23% shooting from beyond the arc was troublesome. However, he would have to very solid years after that with the franchise, including an All-Star appearance in the 2001-2002 year. In franchise history, he is the only point guard to be named an All-Star.

Injuries plagued him throughout his career, but he never missed a game in Charlotte. He had one of the most efficient years in Hornets history in 2001-2002, as he finished with averages of 18.1 points, 8.5 assists and 2.1 steals per contest.


Gerald Wallace

During the rebirth of NBA basketball in Charlotte, Gerald Wallace was the most accomplished player. He was stuck on a lot of bad teams, but he played hard during his tenure with the franchise. He was the only person to make an All-Star team during the Bobcats era, as he had a pretty special 2009-2010 year. Longevity gives him the slight edge over Eddie Jones.


Glen Rice

No player for the Charlotte Hornets could score with the same ease as Glen Rice. He is one of the most underrated players in NBA history, but fans in Charlotte certainly don’t forget his three year run with the team. He made the All-Star team in all 3 of those years, and he averaged 23.5 points per game during that stretch.


Larry Johnson

Much like Davis, Larry Johnson would go through quite a few injuries after leaving Charlotte. However, during his tenure with the team, they were one of the most exciting franchises in the NBA. He would team up with the center below to form a pretty strong frontcourt. Despite being undersized, he averaged 9.2 rebounds per game with Charlotte while also averaging 19.6 points.


Alonzo Mourning

Two Hall of Famers have suited up for Charlotte at some point during their career, and with all due respect to Robert Parish, few remember his two-year stint at the very end for him. Alonzo Mourning had three outstanding years with the Hornets to begin his career, and he later developed into one of the best centers in the league.

No player in Charlotte history has averaged even close to his 3.2 blocks per game. He was a defensive anchor for one of the youngest and most exciting teams around. He is second all-time in points and rebounds per game, as the developing superstar found a way to consistently be a 20 and 10 guy. Many wonder how good the team could have been with him sticking around, but it is hard to forget the three years he did play.


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Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Written by David W. Walters


Your Charlotte Hornets (28-34) have certainly had a dramatic season full of ups and downs but, over the last few weeks, this team has begun to develop an identity as the position themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The Hornets have gone 7-4 since the All-Star break, including a five-game win streak as Charlotte played six games in the span of nine days.

While the entire team has stepped up their play recently, It’s not a stretch to say that the trade for Mo Williams may have saved the Hornets season.  Charlotte was desperate for a scoring punch, and while Brian Roberts filled in admirably for the injured Walker, he wasn’t the floor general that this team was sorely lacking.

Shot happy Gary Neal was traded in exchange for Williams and D-league sharp-shooter Troy Daniels and the pair had to wait until after the week long All-Star break to make their debut in Charlotte.  Mo came out firing on all cylinders in his first outing with the Hornets and he hasn’t looked back since, is averaging 21.4 points and 8.5 assists in his 10 games played since joining the Hornets.

His numbers since coming to Charlotte have been on par with some of the best guards in the league, and it’s shown as he was recently named the Eastern Conference player of the week while averaging 19.5 points and 10.8 assists in 35.5 minutes played for the week, while shooting .429 from the field (24-56), .375 from beyond the three-point line (9-24) and .913 from the free-throw line (21-23), as the Hornets posted the NBA’s only 4-0 record on the week.  The Hornets as a team are benefitting from Williams’ touch on offense as well, boosting their offensive output to 102.9 points per outing since the trade, resulting in a lot of free pizzas for all the fans.


Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Williams is essentially the antithesis to Lance Stephenson, rarely showing any emotion with his no-nonsense approach to the game.  Williams has been all over the league during his career so getting acquainted with a new team is nothing new to him; it also doesn’t hurt that he was reunited with a fellow Mississippi native Al Jefferson, with whom he played with in a stint in Utah.

Williams also has a high basketball I.Q. and the ability to make the players around him better as evidenced by having all five starters score in double figures in five of the last seven games.

Speaking of Stephenson, he has seemingly settled into his role with the second unit and has begun to play some good basketball when called upon.  While he certainly has fallen short of the teams’ expectations this season, he is helping this team get into the thick of the playoff picture.

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images

Speaking of playoffs, the Hornets are currently sitting in the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference standings as of now.  They are in a battle with Indiana, Miami, Boston and Brooklyn for the seventh and eighth seed in the playoffs making it paramount to play with purpose to stay in the thick of the playoff race.  They have a somewhat favorable schedule down the stretch that includes dates with each of the teams vying for position along side of them, so the Hornets playoff destiny is in their own hands.

And last but not least, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is making a strong case for becoming the leagues defensive player of the year, or at the very least, the leagues most improved player.  Much was made of the improvements on his jumper in the offseason, but it seems that those changes have spread to all other aspects of his game.  The Hornets struggled with energy, particularly on the defensive end, while MKG was sidelined with a stress injury in his foot earlier this year and also while he was out more recently with a hamstring strain.  Now that teams are forced to respect his jump shot, it has opened up lanes for him to get to the basket and draw contact; which was his calling card in the first place.  MKG has averaged 12.3 points on .515 shooting from the field (51-99) and 8.8 rebounds in his 10 games since he returned from injury.

But his biggest impact will always be on the defensive end of the court, where he regularly draws the opposing teams top assignment.  In a recent game against the Pistons, Coach Clifford put MKG on Detroit point guard Reggie Jackson after he had a monster first half.  MKG bothered him the rest of the game, making Jackson ineffective and giving the Hornets what they needed to come back and win the game.  The Hornets are a completely different team with him on the floor, and hopefully they can keep him healthy as they make their way into the playoffs.


Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

The big news coming out of Hornets nation this week will be the return of starting point guard Kemba Walker after a 20-game absence following knee surgery.  Walker intends to return tonight against the Sacramento Kings and, while Coach Clifford plans on limiting his minutes, the ultimate intention is to pair Kemba with Mo in the back court.  How this experiment will pan out remains to be seen, but the returns on such a pairing with two ball handlers capable of scoring could work out favorably as teams struggle to cover the two guards.  Hypothetically, the presence of Williams will open up the floor for Walker and vice versa.

Looking ahead to the next week or so of games, the Hornets have an excellent opportunity to keep things rolling starting off with tonight’s game against the Kings.  This will be the first of two games against Sacramento, a talented team that has undergone three different coaches this season.  Now, with veteran coach George Karl at the helm, the Kings are working their way towards respectability as they try to build some sort of consistency out of what has become a perennially unsettled situation.

Sacramento features one of the leagues most talented big men in the mercurial DeMarcus Cousins.  They also feature some serious athleticism on the wings in Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore.  While their record and their average numbers aren’t that impressive, they are a very talented team that is sure to give the Hornets a challenge.  It will be interesting to see how Kemba plays in his return to action as he was on a crazy scoring tear before his knee became so problematic.

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Next up is a match up in Charlotte against the Chicago Bulls.  The Bulls are currently without the services of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler due to injuries; together they form one of the top back courts in the NBA.  Make no mistake about it though, the Bulls are still deep, talented, and they feature one of the leagues best defenses to go along with a stout front court featuring Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol, who leads the league in double doubles.  This will no doubt be a good teat for the Hornets, albeit a tough defensive match up.

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

Photo credit (NBAE/Getty Images)

After that, the Hornets are headed out on a five game road trip, beginning with a matchup on Monday in Utah.  The Jazz are a young team but they have also begun to find their way recently behind the play of Gordon Heyward and big man Derrick Favors.  Utah is currently second in points allowed as rapidly evolving big man Rudy Gobert has given the team an intimidating defensive presence down low.

Charlotte is back in action the next night as they travel to Los Angeles to face a strong Clippers team that has persevered despite the rash of injuries they have experienced lately.  Blake Griffin has been out with injury as has Jamal Crawford, and point guard Chris Paul has basically been playing on one leg as he deals with a knee injury.  Hopefully the Hornets will be able to pounce on LA while they’re down but that certainly hasn’t been an easy task of late, as the Clippers’ depth has shown with DeAndre Jordan picking up the slack down low while J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes and Austin Rivers have stepped up their play recently.

The Hornets get a few days off and then they travel to Sacramento for the second game in two nights against a talented young Kings squad.

This will be the last long road trip for the Hornets before they head down the final stretch of the season.  If ever there was a time for the team to hit a consistent stride for the season it would be now.  Charlotte not only needs a strong finish to hold on to make the playoffs but getting some momentum going as they roll into the postseason wouldn’t hurt either.


Pay attention Hornets fans, its just now starting to get interesting!  Until next time, KEEP BUZZING!!!


you can follow David W. Walters @Original_DWade.


Tyler Knows Nest: MO-tivation For Kemba Nation


The day that all of Hornet Nation has anxiously been waiting for, the return of starting pg Kemba Walker! Walker is the face of the franchise and has had a pretty outstanding season so far making HUGE last second buzzer beater shots for the win, creating big assists, as well as being the heart of the team.

However, what happens after your starting point guard gets hurt and is replaced with another hot shot with a headband? Some times when there are two alpha players starting there can be tension that is not always productive or positive for the whole team.

So the big question is how the two starters, Walker and Williams, play together?

Honestly both players are very dynamic on the court, have outstanding ball movement and can make big shots when they matter. Between the two I surprisingly like Mo Williams play style more than Kemba’s by a small margin.

Williams has a way of not only getting the ball to his teammates in ways that surprise everyone watching, but has a way of making that play style contagious to other players. This “Mo-Williams Syndrome” has caused the Charlotte Hornets to have had 3 triple doubles in the past 3 games! That is huge motivation for the Hornets at a much needed time with the race to the playoffs.  It shows that not only can Mo is not concerned with just making his own shots, but making sure that the ball gets in the hoop any way he can, by shooting, assisting, or dunking!

When Kemba does return, hopefully the two stars can create a monster force instead of a massive collision. I think that both of the starters have enough space and since their main focus is to win, they will be more than willing to spread the ball.

Tonight the Hornets take on the Brooklyn Nets on the Road and the victor will move up in the ranks in this race to the playoffs!

(designed by our new photo editor Joe Shomaker aka @J3_Digital)

(designed by our new photo editor Joe Shomaker aka @J3_Digital)

For More Follow me @T_Ball_N

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.