Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 35, including 17 in the fourth quarter, where he regularly thrives. Kemba Walker led the Hornets in scoring with 24. Nicolas Batum grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists for Charlotte, but shot just 2-11 from the field. Marvin Williams had one of his better games of the year, posting a season-high 21 points on 8-14 shooting. Williams, coming off one of the best season of his career, has had a down year up to this point. However, he looks to be picking things up as of late, averaging 15 points per game over his last five. The Celtics shot 50 percent from the field, and the Hornets inability to guard the long ball was put on display again tonight, as Boston hit 15 three-pointers.
After a very strong start to the season, things have gone off the rails quickly for the Hornets. They came out the gates hot, and jumped out to an 8-3 record. They were in second place in the East, behind just the Cleveland Cavaliers. After tonight’s loss, Charlotte falls to 20-21, the first time all season they have been under the .500 mark. They were also knocked out of the playoff race for the time being, and now sit in the ninth spot in the East.
This road trip looked like a good opportunity for the Hornets to do a few things. First off, it should have been a good chance to get some confidence-building road wins against weaker opponents, like the Pistons and Sixers. It also could have shown that the Hornets can hold their own against some of the premier NBA teams. It did neither of those things, as the Hornets finished the roadtrip 0-5.
Right now, the Hornets do not look like the same team who started the year so well. While injuries have not been kind to the Hornets this season (Cody Zeller, Nic Batum, Jeremy Lamb, Marco Belinelli, and Marvin Williams have all missed some time), there is no reason for the Hornets to be playing like they are. With the amount of talent this team has at its disposal, 20-21 is not going to cut it. Something has to change soon, and whether that be via trade, lineup switch, or something completely different, I don’t know. But for the time being, the Hornets are struggling mightily, and need to get back on track before things spiral too far out of control.