Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

The Charlotte Hornets are a young team on the rise. And they are finally starting to receive the respect they deserve.

Who would have thought that with a 17-18 win loss record at the All-Star break, the Charlotte Hornets would be holding down the 7th Seed in the Eastern Conference?

The Hornets have been playing impressive basketball through the first half of the 2021 NBA Season. After having three lottery picks over the last five years, which have included Malik Monk, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, and LaMelo Ball, respectively, these four players have the Hornets looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

The man behind the recent success of the Hornets is their General Manager Mitch Kupchak, who was hired back in 2018. Before hiring Kupchak, the GM for the Hornets was none other than Michael Jordan, who received a lot of heat from fans due to his hit-or-miss draft picks and lack luster approach to free agency.

Going into the season the Hornets were one of the teams the media thought would be sitting at the bottom of the standings of the Eastern Conference, but that is certainly not the case. Even though their record is below .500, each night the Hornets are on the court, they have been extremely competitive in their matchups.

With so much young talent on the roster, they have become must-see TV due to highlight reel dunks, game winning shots, and their young nucleus of draft picks gelling together. To go along with their young core, the Hornets also have a pair of well-known veterans in Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier, who have played well this season, but have also been great leaders for the team.

Second Half Stretch

Heading into the All-Star break it appears the Hornets have started to figure things. But there is still room for improvement on the roster. Kupchak should be extremely active at the trade deadline and look to add another big man to the team. With all of their scoring coming from the 1-3 positions, fans are imagining what players like John Collins, Lauri Markkanen, or Andre Drummond could add to the fold. Even with leading NBA Rookie of Year candidate LaMelo Ball being inserted into the starting lineup, with an above average big man acquired at the deadline, the Hornets may have the potential to be fighting for higher seed in this year’s playoffs.

With teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Utah Jazz, basketball fans should not ignore the potential of these Charlotte Hornets down the stretch. Buzz City is loving that their team is finally under the national spotlight and not just because MJ is the owner, but because they are an up-and-coming team prepared to leave their mark on the NBA this season.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 20: Terry Rozier #3 of the Charlotte Hornets celebrates with his team after hitting the game-winning three point basket during the final seconds of the fourth quarter of their game against the Golden State Warriors at Spectrum Center on February 20, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By crboone

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