Since the start of the NBA season, the Charlotte Hornets have been right below the line of mediocrity in a lot of categories. They are currently the tenth seed in the NBA with a 28-36 record. The Hornets rank 16th the NBA in points per game allowed and sit 13th in points per game scored. Despite that, they sit only four games back of the eight-seed Milwaukee Bucks. And, only one back of the Detroit Pistons.
In terms of a playoff push, the Hornets are currently in a great position to get the eight-seed. The Pistons have dropped eight of their last 10 gamesa��their only wins coming against the woeful Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks. Furthermore, the Pistons have Toronto, Utah, Denver, Portland, Houston, the red-hot Lakers and the Wizards to play this month. All are playoff teams except Utah and LA. But both of those teams are currently on a hot streak.
As far as the Bucks go, on paper they should not be sitting in the eight-seed out east. In fact, they should be higher. Yet they currently sit there sporting a 34-30 record. The Bucks are struggling because they cannot put teams away. They have lost four of their last five all by five points or less. Down the stretch, they’ve had a lot of noticeable lapses on defense they must put behind them. Their only win during this five-game stretch? Against Philadelphia, where they were behind 43-31 after one quarter.
With both teams exposing real signs of vulnerability, this is where Charlotte could come in and steal a playoff spot late in the season. The schedule for the Hornets the rest of the month features the Suns, Hawks, Nets twice, Pelicans, Knicks, Grizzlies, Mavericks and the 76ers twice. That’s ten winnable games for the rest of March. Meanwhile, the Pistons have a grueling schedule and the Bucks have to play Houston, Cleveland, the Clippers twice, Spurs, Warriors and the red-hot Lakers. Not to mention, their stretch to end the month comes against the Clippers, Warriors and Lakers. All on the road, all during a four-day span. Then Milwaukee will play the Nuggets on April Fools Day to round out their trip out west.
On paper, the Hornets have the roster to make the pusha��especially with Kemba Walker. Walker is averaging 23.2 PPG, 5.7 APG and 3.3 RPG while shooting nearly 40 percent from three. Dwight Howard has also shown to be a good addition this year, averaging 15.7 PPG, 12.4 RPG and 1.6 BLK. Howard’s addition has had a big impact on the Hornets, as they currently sit thirdA� in the NBA in rebounds per game.
As it turns out, the Milwaukee Bucks are dead-last in the NBA in rebounds per game. The Hornets still have some ground to make up, but everything is set up perfectly for a push.