To say it was a concerning start to the NBA Playoffs for the Charlotte Hornets would be an understatement. In fact, it appeared the playoffs started without them. All night, the Hornets were playing catch-up to a Miami Heat team that threw the knock-out punch in the first quarter. A 41-22 deficit after the first quarter resulted in a 123-91 dismantling defeat.
However, it was game one of a seven game series. While game one doesn't exude any confidence, Hornets fans still know the team is very capable of winning this series. Game two will be pivotal for the entire series, win or lose. Now, as you await game two on Wednesday, here are a few links to keep you occupied:
While many of you want to forget about last night's throttling, Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer dissected the loss and made instinctive observations worth glancing over. In this article you'll find key stats and observations to game one, and how certain things can't repeat themselves in order for the Hornets to win game two. Also, Jones gives a brief report card and gives certain resolutions to the team's problems in game one. Make sure check out the quotes from both coaches as well.
As a follow up, our second link is directly to Steve Clifford's post-game press-conference. Here, you'll hear Clifford's remarks on game one, and what needs to change in order to win going further. To briefly summarize, Clifford had no problem with the offensive execution and solely blames the defensive performance. Specifically, he was unhappy about how the team played in pick-and-rolls with their rotations and missed assignments. It's not hard to argue with Coach there; Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside both appeared to have the freedom to do whatever they wanted to all night.
This week's third link also comes from the Charlotte Observer, this one by Scott Fowler. Although this article was posted before last night's loss, it's still very relevant. Here, Fowler discusses the importance of Kemba Walker and Nic Batum as a unit to the overall success of the team. While both players had fairly good offensive performances in the loss, they won't only care about the team's outcome of the postseason. Fowler refers to the two teammates as the engines of the team, and even if one of them is having an off-night, their mere presence is important to the attitude of the team. They are the leaders of the team and have built an unbreakable chemistry together, as they look to turn 48 regular season wins into playoff success.
Our fourth link is non-playoff related, and focuses on the future, rather. Recently, the NBA announced that starting with the 2017-18 season, teams will be able to add corporate logos to the left shoulder of their jerseys. Without much surprise, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, stated the Hornets will likely sport the Jordan 'Jumpan' logo as their jersey sponsor. Michael Jordan is a brand himself, and as the majority owner of the Hornets, his 'Jumpan' logo fits perfectly on the team's jerseys.
BREAKING: Adam Silver said it's likely Hornets will have Brand Jordan logo on jerseys in 2017-18, not the Nike logo like rest of league.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 15, 2016
Lastly, or final link comes from the Washington Post and discusses the NBA's response to a claim saying Jeremy Lin doesn't get flagrant fouls called in his favor, even though he draws many worthy of the recognition. The claim was made in a formal letter and video made by fans that reached the NBA league office. The video shows Jeremy Lin drawing hard fouls on certain plays fans thought should have warranted a flagrant foul. In this lengthy article, Nick Martin reviews both what plays and stats were presented to the NBA, as well as the league's response. In the response, the NBA issues stats and reasoning to why this claim doesn't hold up. One stat states Lin has actually drawn more common fouls than the players who have driven to the basket equally or more frequently, and have also not drawn a flagrant foul. Additionally, the NBA says they stand by their officiating crews, despite knowing some of the fouls Lin has drawn involve a lot of contact.