Are the Charlotte Hornets the Best Bad Team in the NBA?

There are two interrelated maxims in basketball that tend to determine whether or not teams win games over the course of an 82-game season. One is “great teams win big and lose close.” If a team’s regularly getting blown out, chances are good that they suck. But if it seems the only way to beat them is to win by one or two possessions and survive their best player missing a potential game-tying or game-winning shot at the buzzer as fans go wild that “we knocked off the mighty (whoever)”? Well, that “whoever” sounds an awful lot like the Golden …

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Breakfast Special: Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For McCollum

Oh, thank the gods the midterm election season is over. That’s one less distraction on Twitter when I have a deadline on this column. (Initiative 1631 went down in Washington. 1634 passed. And Dino Rossi is a slime mold masquerading as a human being. That’s all the politics you’re ever getting from me in this space. Move the Orlando Magic to Seattle. Now then. On with the show.) CJ McCollum had 40 points on 17-of-26 shooting and 5-of-10 from deep, Evan Turner (!) had 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and the Bucks got absolutely nothing out of …

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Breakfast Special: Houston, You Have A Problem

The ghost of Carmelo Anthony‘s career has cast a specter of evil over the Rockets’ locker room after an exorcism in Oklahoma City went horribly wrong. Indeed, both franchises are haunted now. The Rockets got spanked at home, 104-85, by a Portland Trail Blazers team that was on a road SEGABABA after having disposed of the Pacers Monday night. Which means either the 5-2 Blazers are for real…or the 1-5 Rockets are really that bad. Damian Lillard (8-of-10) and CJ McCollum (7-of-13) combined for 41 points, Jusuf Nurkic added 22 on 7-of-10, and Portland made just two fewer (10-8) three-pointers …

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Are the 2018-19 Charlotte Hornets Good?

Is there a more fan-ghetto franchise in all of the NBA than the Charlotte Hornets? Besides Sacramento and Memphis, what other city has an NBA team that attracts less notice from literally every other fanbase in the entire league plus the generic NBA fan? Since changing their name back from the Bobcats, the Not Cats have gone 33-49, 48-34, 36-46, and then 36-46 again. They are the definition of Mediocrity Hell. They haven’t won a playoff series in their revived-in-Charlotte franchise history since the Bobcats were expanded into existence in 2004. They’ve had only three winning seasons in 14 tries. …

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Breakfast Special: The Triumphant Return of Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz returned to competition Monday, scoring ten points and recording eight assists off the bench for the 76ers as they beat the Denver Nuggets 123-104. For Philly, the fun began in the third quarter; they wiped out an eight-point halftime deficit with a 34-15 twelve-minute run of basketball that proved the margin of victory as they won the fourth quarter 38-30 as well. Ben Simmons, who would get a lot more triple-doubles if he could shoot a lick, scored seven points on 3-of-8 shooting along with 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Meanwhile, Denver couldn’t grab a rebound (they lost …

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Breakfast Special: Charlotte Hornets Break the Point Differential Stat

Way back in November of 2015, the Memphis Grizzlies lost two games, one by 50, the other by 30, in one fell swoop reducing their expected win total for the entire season by 2.7 wins. They lost three games for the price of two, providing the foreshadowing that would, by the end of the season, foretell their 3-14 finish in the regular season and, once they limped into the playoffs, their sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. It was precisely the kind of predictive outcome that analytics was designed to catch (and, if I may point the …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Charlotte Hornets

by Fox Doucette The good news is that Charlotte has Dwight Howard. The bad news is that Charlotte has Dwight Howard, and he’s making $23.5 million even though his best years are so far behind him that he counts as nostalgia. While we’re on the subject, did anyone in 2005 seriously believe that Marvin Williams would still be in the NBA in 2017? The guy wasn’t even a starter in college and went second overall. Talk about playing with house money. Plus Michael Carter-Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are on the same team now, and expect me to get their names …

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