Charlotte Hornets: Season Preview

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The Charlotte Hornets are one of those teams that are challenging to label as outright underdogs, but at the same time, it’s a stretch to expect them to compete for something serious, like reaching the second round of the playoffs. However, the Hornets’ roster looks quite interesting and potent. Could this season be a breakthrough for them?

Although most bookmakers have given less than optimistic forecasts for Charlotte, ranking them outside the top twenty teams in the league in terms of strength. If you plan to bet on the NBA, it would be useful to read a review of one of the most popular bookmakers, which is available at the link https://mostbet-az-mobile.xyz/.

So, the Charlotte Hornets and their new season. What kind of team is it, who is the leader, and what can we expect?

Key Facts

Last season’s results: 14th place, 27-55 record.

Roster:

Arrivals – Kai Jones (27th pick), Frank Ntilikina, Brandon Miller (2nd pick).

Returnees – LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, James Bouknight, Cody Martin, Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, Nick Richards, Mark Williams.

What to Expect from the Team:

Last year, this team significantly suffered due to the injury of their star player, LaMelo Ball, who had to prematurely end the season. Although the injury occurred closer to the middle of the regular season, by that point, the team’s prospects were already questionable.

Overall, the Hornets have been plagued by a negative vibe. Frequent injuries to key players like Ball and Hayward, legal issues with players like Bridges and Bouknight, recent incidents involving Kai Jones and his unexpected trade request, and a controversial “GOAT Life” rap album – all contribute to a somewhat turbulent atmosphere. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but it seems that with the majority ownership of the team sold by Michael Jordan for an estimated $3 billion over the summer, leaving him as a minority owner, the so-called “negative vibe” that has haunted the club, along with poor management, may improve in the coming season.

As a parting gift, Michael Jordan left the franchise with a somewhat questionable second pick in this year’s Draft, Brandon Miller. It’s not fair to say that Miller is untalented and didn’t deserve to be chosen second overall, but his potential is slightly lower than that of Scottie Henderson. In the distant future, this could become noticeable.

It will also be interesting to see how Miles Bridges’s story unfolds. He was supposed to return to the court this season but recently had another run-in with his ex-partner and was sent back to court.

The minimal saga over PJ Washington’s contract extension finally came to an end after nearly a year. Realizing he wouldn’t get $20 million a year as a restricted free agent, he agreed to the offered 48/3 deal from the Hornets. Returning to Charlotte, he’s in a nearly ideal situation. The key is to make progress.

Season Joker: LaMelo Ball

In the summer, the youngest of the Ball brothers signed a massive deal – 260/5. He needs to justify the substantial investment in him and reach a genuinely star level. He certainly has the potential for it. LaMelo has incredible court vision and can be a focal player. Moreover, nobody on the team is going to argue that Ball is the main star and the first fiddle.

Prediction: 13th place in the Eastern Conference.

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Early Predictions for the 2018 NBA Playoffs

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We are not yet at the All-Star Break in the NBA, so it might not be the most opportune time to start talking about the playoffs. There are some teams that are definitely going to be part of the postseason, and we can probably guess at the top 3 in each of the two conferences. Things get a little tougher after that, as the battle for playoff spots in the lower half of each conference tends to get seriously heated, especially in the second half of the season. Injuries and streaky runs can have a major impact on how things might end up playing out, and there are still an awful lot of games ahead of us. Despite all of that, we are still going to take an early look at the playoffs and how things might go.

Eastern Conference Prediction:

The Boston Celtics have a 1.5 game lead over the Toronto Raptors at the top. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in third and appear to be in a bit of a freefall, which would suggest that the current top 2 will be the ones gunning it out for the Eastern Conference crown. The Celtics have done enough to keep Toronto at bay all season long, and we like them to continue doing so. Cleveland will right the ship in the second half, but whether or not they can catch Toronto remains to be seen. We like Washington to leapfrog Miami into 4th.
Miami will drop, but only to 5th, with the remaining three playoff spots filled by Milwaukee, Indiana, and Philadelphia, in that order. Getting to the playoffs would be big for the 76ers, but they would be on to a beating in round one. Toronto would have their hands full with Indiana, but will win, while the Cavaliers will get past the Bucks. The Washington/Miami series would be a coin flip, with the edge going to the Wizards.
Boston move on, and then we think we get the real surprise of the playoffs with the Raptors taking out the Cavaliers. Let’s go with the Celtics to represent the East in the NBA Finals.

Western Conference Prediction:

As usual, no-one is touching the Golden State Warriors on top, and it’s tough to imagine anyone getting past the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs in second and third. Oklahoma City appear to be getting hot, which is why we think they move on up into the #4 seed, pipping out the Minnesota Timberwolves in the process and dropping them to #5.
We don’t see much in the way of change as the standings are now, which means the New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers in #6 and #7, respectively. We worry about the Denver Nuggets being able to hold on to the final spot, especially given how brutal they are on the road, so let’s take the LA Clippers in the #8 spot.
We don’t see any of the top 3 teams going down in the opening round, and we also like OKC to move on. The Spurs have lost a step as we see it, which is why we think we are destined for a Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors Western Conference Final. The Warriors move on after an epic battle and win the NBA Finals in 5 over the Celtics.

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