The Charlotte Hornets expectations last season were never at the level that this year's Houston Rockets squad was at, but everybody is very familiar with a year of disappointment. The Hornets last season were supposed to be a playoff team. They weren't going to contend for a championship, but the second round of the playoffs felt very realistic. Obviously that didn't happen. However, despite the frustration from last season, the team never quit. There was rarely a game that Charlotte didn't feel like they were at least trying to win. The Rockets? This isn't the case.
Throughout this year of struggling, Houston has been disappointing due to a very obvious lack of effort. There is real talent on this team with Dwight Howard, James Harden, Patrick Beverley, and a plethora of talented role players that helped this franchise reach the Western Conference Finals just one season ago. Harden was an MVP candidate. Nowthey're relying on the MVP of China, Michael Beasley, in crucial fourth quarter minutes. It's depressing to see.
Meanwhile, the Hornets have now won seven straight for the first time since Charlotte got a franchise back. They've bounced back from last year's disappointment and turned into one of the better teams in the Eastern conference. With the playoffs quickly approaching, and an easy schedule in front of the Hornets, it really does feel like the sky is the limit as they play this well.
Notes and observations
This is the first time Charlotte has beaten the Rockets since 2010 back when they were the Bobcats. Wow have things changed.
Speaking of things that have changed. With Houston within striking distance early in the fourth quarter, Charlotte gave their best Golden State Warriors impression by raining 3-pointers on the Rockets defense. This opened things up for the offense, and a transition 3-pointer from Kemba Walker mid-way through the quarter sealed the deal.
It's nice to see Charlotte bounce back from a few poor defensive performances by holding James Harden to only two makes from the field. Don't let Houston's 100 points mislead. Charlotte played far better on the defensive end tonight, and it was the speed of the game that led to such a high amount of points given up.
Marvin Williams had 25 points in what was arguably his best game since arriving in Charlotte last season. He's having an incredible season and it all came together for one incredible performance from him tonight.
For those keeping an eye on Frank Kaminsky's development, his defense has been inconsistent this season which is to be expected from a rookie. There was a stretch late in the third quarter where his weakness in one on one situations, and against physical players, was easily revealed. He bounced back to it well, but stuff like that gets singled out and exploited in the playoffs.
Hornets good. Rockets bad.
The Hornets have won 7 straight for the first time since March 2002. Kemba Walker had a game-high 26 for Charlotte. pic.twitter.com/RYno59Gai5— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 13, 2016