In a game in which Charlotte debuted their 'Classic Pinstripes' uniforms, the Hornets defense felt lackluster against a recently struggling Cavaliers team. Essentially, Charlotte did not show up in the second half, scoring just 40 points.
One bright spot tonight was Nicolas Batum. He looked great in his season debut, finishing with 16 points, five rebounds, and six assists, right around his season averages from last year- picking up right where he left off. He elevated to the rim often, had what seemed like 30 dunks.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also played well. He shot 10-for-14 from the field, and scored a team-high 22 points.
MKG with the hey-it’ll-go-in-every-once-in-a-while shot— At The Hive (@At_The_Hive) November 16, 2017
Except his shot was FALLING—and it was falling A LOT.
okay hol up are we just going to ignore the fact MKG is like 10-11 tonight— At The Hive (@At_The_Hive) November 16, 2017
He also recorded six rebounds, and had 31 minutes, second on the team behind Kemba Walker. Also, this may have been mentioned earlier, but the Hornets were wearing the best uniforms in their history.
However, when at their best, the Cavs were simply the better team.
Tonight's game was the first nationally televised game this season for the Hornets, excluding a 1992 'Hardwood Classic' on NBA TV a few weeks back, if you count that sort of thing. And boy, did Kemba give us a highlight for the ages.
Kemba Walker puts the moves on LeBron James for the and-1 layup.... and peep MKG doing the impression pic.twitter.com/nHUSD2UlUK— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) November 16, 2017
so Kemba kinda-sorta just crossed Lebron all the way over to Bank of America stadium.— At The Hive (@At_The_Hive) November 16, 2017
That said, Charlotte's fatal flaw was in full effect tonight. They weren’t able to generate offense or get stops in the fourth quarter, or for large portions of the second half of that matter.
In a game where Charlotte could afford to have exhausted players on the court, they fail to let bench players such as rookies Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon in the game while keeping Batum in. Sure, you want to have veterans in on those situations, but when those veterans are visibly tired, there is not going to be much going your way.
All in all, Charlotte at least kept the game close, interesting, and fun. Their next game will be against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. If they fail to win in the United Center, there may be room for concern. As for now, let's relax.