Every year, there are various preseason rankings, something to help the diehard fans pass the time from free agency until the first televised action. Adi Joseph from USA Today is in the process of ranking every NBA team from least watchable to most watchable. According to Joseph, he considered style of play, youth, and quality among other factors when determining his rankings. It's a subjective exercise for sure, but an interesting one nonetheless. Recently, USA Today announced that the Charlotte Hornets were 15th in the rankings.
Michael Jordan's Hornets have their buzz back. @AdiJoseph on Lance, Al and playoff hopes: http://t.co/9PaJS8nIGB pic.twitter.com/EnJ0NVHjZT— USA TODAY Sports NBA (@usatodaynba) September 23, 2014
Here are some of the highlights of this well written preview of the Charlotte Hornets’ upcoming season (with my thoughts in italics):
- Joseph provides a projected record for each team. He predicts Charlotte will finish with a 43-39 record, good for 6th in the Eastern Conference. That's the same record as last year, but a one spot improvement in playoff seeding.
- Main reason to watch: "Good Lance versus Bad Lance." His antics (or lack thereof) will be a main reason to tune in every night for sure.
- He correctly mentions that Hornets general manager Rich Cho has taken full control of basketball operations (didn’t this happen the day he was hired?), but still thinks Jordan "calls the shots."
- Projected Starters: Kemba Walker, Lance Stephenson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, and Al Jefferson. Seems like the national media has Cody pencilled in as the starter whereas local media and fans believe Marvin Williams will start.
- To the author's credit, so far this exercise hasn't just been a popularity contest or just another power ranking. The Hornets are ranked above the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, two much more popular teams, as well as the Memphis Grizzlies (who are predicted to be the 4th seed in the Western Conference), and Toronto Raptors (predicted to be the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference).
Coming in at 15th feels a little too low. The following teams have yet to be ranked and therefore will finish ahead of the Hornets: the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Washington Wizards, and the Miami Heat. How can those teams be more watchable than the Hornets when none of those teams have Lance Stephenson? Do you agree with the ranking? Make your stance known in the poll below.