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No hustle, No heart: Hornets getting killed on the glass

The Hornets get massively out rebounded in yet another loss to a bad team

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Andersen is not walking through that door.

Mainly because he has a torn ACL, and the Hornets released him before he had a chance to do much of anything.

A day that started weirdly with a trade for the soon-to-be-waived Anderson, ended badly with a loss to third worst team in the East, missing their two best players to injury.

The Philadelphia 76ers handled the Hornets on the boards to the tune of a 51-33 margin. Rebounding, lest we forget, is one of Coach Clifford three keys to winning at basketball. Cody Zeller was forced to sit out yet again, and after the game Nic Batum was quoted as saying, ''We miss Cody and Plumlee is new so we have no bigs...we have no screen game, no running game and no big inside so we miss that too.''

What about the second year lottery pick? The center from Wisconsin? It’s almost as if starting shooting guard doesn’t even think of Frank Kaminsky as a big man. And honestly, why would he? Batum averages almost double the rebounds Kaminsky does per game.

At the moment the Hornets appear to be some version of soft. Either they’re tired-soft, or bored-soft or just plain soft-soft. It could be a problem when the most imposing player on your team is six feet tall. It’s as though the Hornets think they’re more skilled than they are. Gone are the days of Gerald Henderson, Bismack Biyombo, and hell, even Josh McRoberts. Now the roster reads a little differently — Jeremy Lamb, Marco Belinelli, Frank Kaminsky. Yes, the franchise needed an influx of skill, but recent results suggest the team may have moved to far in the opposite direction. Many of these players are so blessed with natural dexterity and coordination to the point that they don’t feel the need to hustle or rebound or play defense. The team is becoming dependent on a skill set it thinks it has at a degree it simply doesn’t. What if the 76ers had actually had their two best players? Both big, big men. Would the Hornets have been blown out at home?

The Hornets need this All Star Break to come fast. They need to rest up and find the identity they once had when their talent level was lower. Because if they continue to be get outworked and embarrassed by lesser competition, Cho will be scouting lottery picks in no time.