Charlotte

Hornets

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

7.0

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

6.4

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

8.3

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Nicklaus Denning of SB Nation’s Hornets site At The Hive.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for Hornets fans?

The Hornets need to be competitive on most nights and live up to the moderate expectations of making the playoffs and even winning a series. Show steps forward as a team rather than steps back. Fans want to believe this is the right group moving forward, but it’s been too inconsistent the past four seasons.

Charlotte Hornets
Position Starters Bench
Guards Kemba Walker Malik Monk Michael Carter-Williams (injured) Julyan Stone
Wings Nicolas Batum (injured) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Marvin Williams Jeremy Lamb Treveon Graham Dwayne Bacon
Bigs Dwight Howard Cody Zeller Frank Kaminsky

What makes Hornets fans most excited about this year? What makes Hornets fans most nervous?

We’re most excited about what Dwight Howard can bring if all goes well. He's unlike any player the Hornets have had at center in some time, even if he isn't All-NBA Dwight anymore.

But Howard also makes us most nervous. His past indicates it won't end well in Charlotte, despite all the reasons it should (relationship with Steve Clifford, fit in the offense, etc). We’re hopeful it will turn out different.

There’s also the 8-to-12-week injury to Nicolas Batum, which leaves the team without its best playmaker for a long stretch of the year. It could jeopardize the season depending on how long he is out.

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the Hornets?

Coaches and players have said great things about Jeremy Lamb's offseason and believe he is on the cusp of a breakout season. Batum's injury thrusts him into the starting lineup, so he’ll get a great opportunity to prove them right. Keep an eye on his progress.

Why should neutrals pay attention to the Hornets this year?

For one, Kemba Walker is exciting to watch. His handles are among the best in the league, and all defenders are at risk of falling victim. Beyond that, rookie Malik Monk is a fun and promising player who plays with a ton of confidence.

But as a team, the Hornets are well-coached and play a generally attractive style of basketball when they’re clicking. Oh, and they have the best jerseys in the league, hands down.

What's your prediction for the season?

44-38, seventh in the East. The Hornets could end up much higher in the East, but it depends on whether Howard works and how long Batum is out.