Phew. What a week, right guys and gals? Entering this week, the Hornets were on the outside looking in on the playoff picture. As of this writing, the team sits in the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, just half a game ahead the Indiana Pacers, and have matchups coming up against the Pistons and Wizards.
A big week for the team is a bit of an understatement at this point.
Possibly the best news for Hornets fans is that guard Kemba Walker is nearing a return to the hardwood, and it could not come at a better time.
According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, coach Steve Clifford plans to play Walker with new acquisition and hot hand Mo Williams, something that Walker is very excited about. And while the idea might sound great on paper, our own Frank Berndt took a look at the risks of a Walker-Mo Williams lineup and why it may not be the best idea after all.
After Wednesday night's domination of the Brooklyn Nets, Clifford said that the team would be taking a "sub-to-win" approach for the rest of the season, which would help explain why the likes of Lance Stephenson and P.J. Hairston have seen a significant decrease in playing time. Well, then again, for Hairston, that is far from the only reason for the decrease, as Chris Barnewall talked about. And in case you missed it, Stephenson posted this on his Instagram after Tuesday's victory over the Lakers when he did not play at all in the second half.
Lance is gonna Lance, I guess.
Speaking of Lance, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated published a piece today on how Stephenson's struggles are holding back the Hornets.
Going back to Wednesday's blowout of the Nets, you may have missed this nice quote from center Al Jefferson:
We remembered what they did to us on our home floor (a 114-87 loss in December). To have a great team down like that – down 20 points – showed we were ready.
You can read more on the game recap on Jefferson's personal website. Side note: Yes, Al Jefferson has his own website.
We end BATW with some of the happiest news NBA fans can receive: Craig Sager is back after a yearlong battle with leukemia! The big guns at SB Nation compiled reaction around the league to the sideline reporter's return, including our own Mo Williams (who is apparently waiting for a round of golf with Sager). Personally, I'm going to steal from Spencer Hawes and begin to refer to Sager as the 'GOAT of the suit game.'