The Charlotte Hornets are no longer flying under the radar in terms of being amongst the NBA’s most exciting teams to watch on any given night. LaMelo Ball has played a key role in the culture change and style of play change. What he does on the court is simply infectious.
Will the Hornets be able to vault themselves into the top ten offenses in the NBA, though? They’ll need to in order to overcome their obvious defensive limitations. Rookie guard James Bouknight will also play a key role in their success this season. Both Bouknight and Ball could be contenders for awards this season and if they are, that will mean the Hornets win enough games to be satisfied with their season.
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The Hornets will be in the top ten in points per game this season
One year ago, the Hornets averaged 109.5 points per game during the regular season. That ranked them in the bottom third of the league, trailing well behind the elite offenses of the NBA. This year, the Hornets are going to leapfrog all the middle-tier scoring teams and become one of the most high-powered offenses in the game.
It starts with how they already want to play. In both the NBA Draft and free agency they added players that fit their style. The roster is much more complete around the likes of LaMelo, Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward. The new additions include Bouknight and Kelly Oubre Jr. Both players bring an offensive punch and offer the Hornets coaching staff a plethora of lineup options throughout a game.
Expect more success with the uptempo style of play. The ball will be moving in Charlotte and they have the players to hit open shots and finish in transition.
Fact, the Hornets will finish inside the top ten in points per game
James Bouknight will make the NBA All-Rookie First Team
Bouknight was selected 11th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft and figures to have a significant role carved out even in a backcourt that already features Ball and Rozier. The rookie entered the NBA as one of the more ready-to-play players in the class and the Hornets are looking to replace losses such as Devonte’ Graham from this offseason.
Still, with Rozier’s scoring in front of and next to him, in addition to Hayward, Bouknight simply won’t have the nightly volume needed to earn All-Rookie first team. In fact, the best-case scenario for Charlotte is that he plays great in his role and that role doesn’t leap off the box score. That would mean enough success is coming from those around him and he can focus on his role while developing his game.
False, Bouknight will fall short of the All-Rookie First Team
LaMelo Ball will be an All-Star in his second NBA season
LaMelo took the NBA by storm last season, and rightfully so. He was consistently turning in highlight plays and had the Hornets playing exciting basketball every time he stepped on the court. Fans are going to give him a lot of all-star votes, but will he actually make the team in his second season?
No, he won’t quite be to that level yet. Ball is still far enough behind eastern conference guards like James Harden, Zach LaVine, Jrue Holiday and Kyrie Irving to say he can capture a roster spot. That’s no knock on LaMelo. He is still young and will have many all-star appearances coming in the years that follow the 2021-22 NBA season.
False, LaMelo will have to wait another year for his first all-star appearance
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