It is a very exciting time to be a Charlotte Hornets fan. It feels great and unfamiliar to be having the conversation about what playoff seed Charlotte could nab instead of the usual conversation about who the Hornets should draft in the lottery this summer. But here we are. The Hornets sit in the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference sitting just 1.5 games out of 3rd place. Of the 13 remaining games, only four are against teams currently in a playoff seed. It would be a huge accomplishment if the Hornets could be a top four seed and earn home-court for a playoff series.
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer had a lot to say about why this team is making a playoff push. He attributes this year’s success to the team playing smart and unselfish. "We’re a smart, smart team, so they’re able to adapt to things. Talent is the biggest thing (in the playoffs) but you’ve got to play smart," says Coach Clifford. Bonnell suggests that Nicoals Batum keeping turnovers low and Marvin Williams consistently staying out of foul trouble are just a couple examples of Charlotte’s smarts this year. The back-end of the article focuses on the unselfishness of the Hornets. Veteran Al Jefferson has led the way. Do not forget that just two years ago he was All-NBA Third Team. Now, he is content coming off the bench if it benefits the team. Big Al’s willingness to put the team first is having an impact on the Hornets. Even newly-aquired Courtney Lee has taken notice of the team’s commitment to team over self.
Bobby Marks of The Vertical is skipping over the playoff push and focusing on the crazy free agency ahead of us this summer. Marks highlights the teams that will be in need of a point guard as well as the top point guards available in free agency. This is relevant to the Hornets because Jeremy Lin comes it at number four on his list. The Lin contract from this past summer is something of a miracle. It’s so favorable to the Hornets that you think "did Lin’s accounting team mess something up?". All good things must come to and end. Marks highlights why it will be tough for the Hornets to retain Lin: "Player option with non-Bird rights means Charlotte will have a hard time affording him". He’s right. So who do we sign at point guard this summer to back up Kemba Walker? Jeremy Lin? Matt Dellavedova? Jerry Bayless? Mario Chalmers? This is what the poll at the bottom of this article will be asking.
Now onto the best news of the week. Hornets playoff tickets go on sale to the public today! Starting today March 21st at 10 a.m. fans will be able to buy single-game tickets to any of the first three rounds of home playoff games. The Hornets must be waiting to sell the NBA Finals tickets for when they get there (ha!). Hopefully the stands are filled with crazy Hornets fans. The team is a very good 26 wins and 11 losses at the Hive. The rowdy fans will need to provide the team with a lift if they are going to win their first playoff game/series since the Bobcat era.