The Charlotte Hornets have a young, talented roster that has the potential to be a dark horse playoff contender in 2021/22.
The charlotte hornets starting lineup 2021 is a dark horse playoff contender. This team has the potential to make it all the way to the finals in 2022.
The Charlotte Hornets are expected to be a contender for a back-end playoff berth after reaching the play-in round last season. The squad was the Eastern Conference’s No. 10 seed last season. The squad returns the majority of last year’s lineup, with the additions of Kelly Oubre Jr., James Bouknight, and Mason Plumlee.
Despite losing Cody Zeller to free agency, the club seems to have filled up the gaps with the proper components. If LaMelo Ball can remain healthy, he might be the team’s first genuine superstar since Kemba Walker. The Hornets’ squad isn’t particularly spectacular, but it might be enough to propel them to a dark-horse playoff run during the regular season.
LaMelo Ball, point guard
In Charge: Sir Charles
Last season, Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to achieve a triple-double. He had a 15.7-point, 5.9-rebound, and 6.1-assist average. Although the 20-year-old isn’t ready to contend for an All-Star spot, he is one of the game’s most exciting up-and-comers.
Since Kemba Walker, the team’s all-time leading scorer, played in Charlotte, the Hornets haven’t had a superstar in the region. Ball seems to be a more complete player than Walker, which is why his progression is so fascinating. In their second year, athletes like Trae Young and Zion Williamson have made significant improvements. Will Ball be able to repeat his success?
Terry Rozier, Shooting Guard
Remember when Terry Rozier got a big deal that made fans squirm when they read the fine print? Remember how he averaged 18.4 and 20.4 points in each of the previous two seasons? In the NBA, Rozier has established himself as a capable shooting guard. He’s shot about 40% from three-point range, and he’s averaged around four rebounds and assists per game.
Rozier would be your sixth guy on a competitive team. For the Hornets, he is a player who must shoot the ball in order for the team to reach 100 points. Rozier just signed a new contract deal with the club, indicating that they recognize his value. Rozier is just 27 years old and coming off a career year, so there’s reason to think the best is yet to come.
Miles Bridges – Small Forward
After working his way up the ladder, Bridges has earned a spot in the starting lineup. He shot 50.3 percent from the field and averaged 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Bridges and LaMelo Ball have an incredible connection together. On other evenings, the two looked like they’d been playing together since they were babies. Check out some of the alley-oop passes Bridges makes down from lobs by Ball if you don’t believe us.
Since 2016, the Hornets haven’t reached the playoffs (the play-in game doesn’t count). Bridges will be a critical component of that achievement. Bridges should appear more often in Sportscenter’s Top 10 this season.
Gordon Hayward’s “Power Forward”
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With Gordon Hayward, it’s all about his health. Hayward averaged 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 44 games, shooting over 40% from the field from three-point range. Hayward’s issue is that he can’t seem to remain on the floor. Since 2016, Hayward has only appeared in over 70 games once.
This squad cannot afford to lose one of its top performers. Hayward was offered a max deal to coach a youthful group of players. He must be the primary or backup choice. The Hornets may see a leap in the standings if he plays the whole season.
Mason Plumlee (center)
In essence, Mason Plumlee is taking Cody Zeller’s spot in the lineup, and fans are debating which option they prefer. As the No. 4 overall selection, Zeller never lived up to the hype. He couldn’t rebound well and couldn’t shoot well beyond 10 feet from the hoop.
Plumlee isn’t a great shooter, but he did shoot 61.4 percent from the field last season with the Detroit Pistons. He also has a superior rebounding stat line, scoring 10.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. At 7.1, Zeller has set a new career high in boards. Plumlee will provide the midsection a boost of strength and firmness.
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Ish Smith, Kelly Oubre Jr., Cody Martin, Vernon Carey, and PJ Washington are among the bench’s most useful players. Oubre arrives in town after a difficult season with the Warriors, in which he averaged 15.4 points and 6.4 rebounds. If Oubre comes off the bench and plays a similar role, he might be a contender for Sixth Man of the Year.
As a stretch four, Washington averaged 12.9 points and 6.5 rebounds. He’s about to start his third season. Smith is a competent backup point guard, while Carey was once considered a top prospect just a few years ago. Bouknight was a first-round selection by UConn last year and averaged 18.7 points per game. Expect him to have a strong early shooting performance.
A Playoff Contender from the Shadows
The Utah Jazz completed the 2015-2016 season with a 40-42 record and ninth place in the Western Conference. This squad has a lot of similarities to the Jazz, and it’s not just because Hayward used to play for them. Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood, and a youthful Rudy Gobert joined Hayward on the court. This squad didn’t have anything exceptional going for them, yet they competed.
Back then, the West was deeper, while this year, the East is deeper. The Hornets have a ceiling of six seeds and a floor of tenth seeds. Everything hinges on Ball’s growth, since he has a superstar ceiling based on what he showed last season. A big three of Ball, Rozier, and Hayward may not seem enticing, but it’s enough to contend for a playoff berth on the back end.
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The hornets nba is a dark horse playoff contender in the 2021/22 season. They will be led by Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard, and they have an exciting young core.
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