The Charlotte Hornets still have a pulse when it comes to the playoffs. Just not much of one.
Tuesday night's 105-100 loss to the Miami Heat puts them two games behind the Boston Celtics for the eight seed. A win tonight would have clinched the season series against their division rivals. Instead, they drop another game they had to have.
There is a lot that could be said about the team and how they played, but honestly, you've read it before. It's the same things that have been happening all season. Streaky offense that goes from scorching to unable to make a layup with the snap of a finger (and often stays that way for long stretches). Defensive lapses when the team needs it most. Poor execution. Questionable lineup decisions.
You've seen this show before. 77 times as a matter of fact. Nothing is new. Nothing has changed. The team is a defensive-minded squad that lacks a consistent scorer. They flat out are not good enough to make the playoffs, even in the Eastern Conference.
Of course, this is the third or fourth obituary this site has written on the 2014-2015 Hornets. The way the season has gone, they will find some way to play themselves back into the playoff picture. They have not been mathematical eliminated yet, so say it all together now.
Ok, enough negatives. Let's focus on some positives for a second here. Gerald Henderson came to play Tuesday night. He scored 29 points in 31 minutes, shooting 11-of-18 from the floor, and kept the team in the game for the majority of the evening. The Heat were able to really pull away in the third quarter on a 16-0 run when Henderson was out, thanks to picking up his fourth foul. If he had not picked up that foul, who knows how the night would've gone.
Bismack Biyombo finished with yet another double-double — 12 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and four blocks. He also did his best Superman impression to end the third quarter. Oh, and he did it all with a broken nose and no mask to protect it. No big deal. (Biyombo was fitted for a mask, but it did not come in time for Tuesday night's game.)
The Hornets are running out of chances to come back from the dead and chase a playoff spot. Steve Clifford called tomorrow's game against the Raptors a "must win." Considering have they have fared in recent "must win" games, that is not a good sign.