Hornets at Philly, part 2 - 01.04.21

I think a major component thats not getting enough credit is losing our starting center right away.

No, Cody is not a world beater, but he makes a team better. He’s not a high scorer, but he converts easy assists, and can steal a bucket every time a team relaxes on him. Sets good picks, good at rolling to the basket, doesn’t get lost on D, boxes out for team rebounds, runs real hard in transition, hits free throws, is big enough to contest shots without fouling, good at whipping around passes for hockey assists. And most importantly, relegates Biz to 10-12 energy bursts per game, rather than having to rely on his fumbly hands and unreliable touch for 30 minutes.

That plus a one of our high usage guards going into a major shooting slump doesn’t help. Cody’s presence won’t make us great, but we’d for sure have taken a couple of these games.

As @QC_Thundercats says, we’re severely lacking at C and that affects our entire defence. There are too many players needed to protect the rim so we’re just not getting out to close down the 3 point line.

In addition, we’re undersized. Chronically undersized. We have maybe one player who has very good size for his position, LaMelo and he badly needs to have an offseason in the weights room. We have one player with genuinely good size for his position, and that’s Haywood though he’s not the most athletic. You’ve got McDaniels, who certainly has the length, but he’s still got a lot of filling out to do.

Aside from them, and this is a deliberately pessimistic/antagonistic take … PJ lacks height, Miles lacks height and length, Biz lacks height, Devonte lacks height, Terry lacks height, Zeller lacks length … and they’re our top 9 players.


I think as fans we (and I mean y’all :wink:), seriously overrate the talent we watch each night. Mostly because we WANT to see the good and we largely ignore the not so good. The fact of the matter is most of these guys are marginal nba talents and of the top 7 most are marginal nba starters.

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Hate to agree with this @Chef f, but I have to.

Of our arguable top 9 guys (Devonte, Terry, GH, PJ, Zeller, Ball, Miles, McDaniels & Biz) we have, what 2 genuine starting level players in Terry & GH? Zeller is a borderline starter. PJ, Miles & LaMelo are good rotation players with the promise of more. Devonte, well we just don’t know until he finds some level of form again. McDaniels is a prospect and Biz is a bench piece.

We tend to, and I absolutely include myself in this, fall in love with the promise of what each player can be rather than focusing on the actual current ability. Don’t get me wrong, I like the prospects of a team featuring Devonte, Terry, Ball, GH, PJ, Miles, McDaniels moving forwards and I’m hopeful for Vernon but there is not much current starting level ability there.

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*Putting on my shaman hat

It all goes back to the great philosophical divide of perspectives, the embodiment of the yin and yang, the opposing sects of glasses: the half-fullians and half-emptyiums.

Excluding the blind homers and eternal optimists, the half-full members generally give a full benefit of the doubt to players until they prove us wrong. Having a longer leash may make it seem like they’re giving excuses, but it allows for enough time to see development, improvement, and a good gauge in projecting a trajectory.

Ultimately, this perspective can eliminate any excuses if a player fails to meet expectations, as they had been given a chance to prove themselves (See Felton/DJ/Hendo/Frank/MKG/Ham Vincent/Dunlap). The trick here is when to call it, as being too late can cost time and room for other potential players (See Hendo/Frank/MKG).

On the other hand half-empty proponents generally don’t give much benefit of the doubt, and won’t hop on board with a player until they prove themselves right. Simply meeting expectations is the baseline which deserves no credit, as there are no excuses not to be there. Anything above still contains an air of skepticism until a consistent pattern of exceeding expectations are established.

While this perspective does make sure that only players showing success get through, it doesn’t exist in a perfect world. It may cut off a player before they get to fully develop into who they are, it may not account for extenuating circumstances (bad coaching/player fit). It may also have a repressive affect that can squelch hope and burgeoning talent until the oppressive force is relieved (see Larry Brown, or any shitty boss you’ve ever had).

Neither perspective is right or wrong, and the failure of the new Hornets can easily send someone to the dark side of the force of cynicism. For me, the only way Hornet fandom can be enjoyable is maintaining that glimmer of hope, that hope we may have a hidden gem, or maybe team chemistry can cover weaknesses and give that extra push to the successful side of the ledger.

I know every step will result in the rake handle popping up into my face, but hoping for the best despite expecting the worst can at least get me through better than not allowing any hope at all until its fully proven.

can’t disagree with this. the problem is when the half full group attributes things that aren’t there to their hopes and prognostications. i sincerely hope devonte becomes a really good player. same with all of “our” guys but realistically right now and this season (as a group) they largely aren’t close. the problem is when we as fans predict 30+ wins for a team that is really a 23 win team.

True, thats why I made the caveat about blind homers, they exist on a different plane. Those guys and also superfans of players rather than the team, as they’ll infiltrate a fan base and shit talk other players just so their guy can shine. Both these type of fans annoy everyone.

Also shows that even though I had these 2 “sects”, its not binary, as there are different shades on the spectrum you can fall.

I always called myself an optimistic realist, as while I hope we could make a playoff run every year, the amount of money I’d put on it would be minimal. I can get excited by every baby step our rookies take, and allow space through their first contract before I call it.

Its hit or miss either way, I was rewarded for sticking with Kemba and… somebody else, I’m sure, at some point in time. But it sucks when you feel MKG could turn the corner if he just fixed his shot, or stopped throwing his shoulder out or, you know. But I think I had a good feel for when an exciting free agent wasn’t working out, or a shiny coach was just a mirage. And since rookies are with you 4 years, I generally think thats ample time to at least prove you can stick in the league. Monk has to the end of the year to prove himself, but I think the writings on the wall for his time here. I actually felt we should’ve traded him during his hot streak last year.

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I think there are also performative fans, like myself, that know deep down we’re not good but see the role of being the fan as being ultimately positive. Reality is, none of our discussion on this board is going to move the needle much in terms of how the organization runs. I follow sports only to bring joy to my life. (I know, I know… and a Hornets fan. How!!!) So, I choose to be glass half full except when it’s fun to be glass half empty.

My read on the team going into the season was 7 or 8 seed. I don’t think I have particularly unrealistic expectations. Maybe that is an unrealistic expectation, but it’s probably far too early to tell for several reasons.

But I also think it’s fair to say that this roster is not this bad, and some coaching decisions have been difficult to understand. Nothing more than that to say really.