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Buzz Around The Web: Startin' High, Comin' In Low

BATW highlights the highs and lows of what has been a disappointing week for the Charlotte Hornets.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Since the last Buzz Around the Web, the Hornets gained a huge win, suffered two deflating losses, got a starter back, then lost a starter.

Lets start off going around the association where Ethan Skolnick had a fantastic Q&A with Pat Riley.

Everybody has seen how rough things are getting up there in Toronto. Raptors Republic asks the question "Is there any point to the rest of the Raptors season?"

And I'm sure some of you will love this. Who caught the little kid throwing the double birds at LeBron the other night?

Now a recap of what went on here at At The Hive this week and anything else that happened with the Hornets.

It all started with Sunday's win on the road in Detroit. The Hornets could not contain newly acquired point guard Reggie Jackson in the first half. The former Thunder guard torched Mo Williams for 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting in the first half. The crucial halftime adjustment was putting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on Jackson for the second half. The rest of the way Jackson was 2-of-9 from the floor for four points. You can read more about MKG's defensive brilliance here, an intelligent feature from Chris Barnewall.

Charlotte ended the game on a 20-6 run, winning their fifth in a row and vaulting themselves into the seventh spot in the East. The assist percentage continued it's spike after the All-Star break with Hornets dishing out 32 assists from a number of participants and only committing nine turnovers.

The week began to sour on the Hornets when the Washington Wizards came to town. The 'Zards 95-69 domination of Charlotte ended the home team's win streak. It was the eighth game in 13 nights fro the Hornets and it was the second of a back-to-back. Not that the Hornets boast one of the league's top outside threats but they shot 4-of-22 from 3-point range overall and 8-of-35 from the field in the second half for 23 points. Mo Williams and Brian Roberts were a combined 1-of-15 from 3-point land.

The week briefly brightened as news came down that Kemba Walker would suit up and make his long-awaited return Wednesday night against Sacramento. That news was followed by two scary storylines: a home loss to the Kings and an injury to Al Jefferson. Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay, and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 73 points in Sacramento's 113-106 win Wednesday night. After the game, Mo Williams called the loss "huge," and a "a big blow." The loss put the Hornets on the outside looking in. They now sit a half-game back of Miami for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

If that wasn't a disappointing enough, Al Jefferson left the game in the third quarter with a calf injury, reporting that he "heard something pop." An MRI the next day on his right calf and knee came back negative, meaning Jefferson simply has to get rid of the pain, somewhat cooling the worries of most Hornets fans a bit. While it could be worse, Jefferson will at least miss a few games in a stretch of the season where every game is crucial if you want to make the playoffs.

The good news is that Walker returned and appeared to avoid any setbacks. He played 16 minutes off the bench, accumulating six points, two assists, and a rebound in the loss. Clifford said he'll have a 20-minute ceiling while he works his way back into game shape.

While Kemba's return and Al's injury grabbed plenty of headlines, something else Clifford said Wednesday night should have grabbed the most attention.

"The worst thing when you play 82 games is a ‘sometimes' team. And let's face it, that's what we are," Clifford said after the loss. "Do we have room for error? Almost none. Do we have to play all-out 48 minutes a night with all-out enthusiasm, energy, toughness and intelligence? Yes we do...If we're going to play like this, forget the playoffs. We can't win like this."

Hot fire like Dylan take from Clifford right there. He laid it on his team like no way I have heard him before. I cannot wait to see how the team responds tonight in Chicago.

Speaking of Clifford, the Hornets website released a cool little piece about his past on NBA benches. It is a part of their "Out of Bounds" series, a portion of their website that is described as "a weekly series that dives deeper into the issues fans might not know the whole story about." You all may have known about it but it was news to me and the series hooked me. Clifford was a part of Jeff Van Gundy's staff in Houston and they interviewed NBA veteran Chuck Hayes about what Clifford was like during his time in H-Town. Fast forward a few years and Clifford was on Stan Van Gundy's staff in Orlando. The Hornets interviewed Marcin Gortat, probably fresh off his Wizards' ass-kicking of Charlotte, about what Clifford was like during the Magic era. A lot of cool quotes in there on our man Clifford and next week they're hyping interviews with Clifford's former and current coaching colleagues. I'll be waiting for it. You should too.

And oh yeah, the Hornets played a part in the unofficial Vine of the Week.