Johnny O’Bryant III scored 15 points against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
On one hand, it’s splendid to see someone at the end of the Hornets bench contribute in such a significant way.
On the other hand, what does it say about your scoring distribution when an end-of-the-bench fringe journeyman whose been on the team less than ten days, provides an answer offensively?
Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum continue to drive the scoring charge for the Charlotte Hornets, which,wouldn’t be a problem if Batum wasn’t a natural jack-of-all-trades playmaker, and Walker wasn’t a six foot tall point guard.
As far as putting the ball in the basket the Hornets have an issue. They depend on the same two players every night to provide not only and offensive spark, but a certain amount of offensive efficiency to win games. So much so, that even in a game during the dregs of the league, neither of those two can take a night off. Not to mention, no one else is generally afraid to step up in some significant way.
It’s great that the Hornets can win a game — any game, but there’s also the expectation that the team is doing it the right way. And I don’t mean doing so with good sportsmanship or no off the field issues (though that would be nice), I’m talking about reserving oneself. The Hornets need to be in reserve mode against the Nuggets. Batum and Walker need to be able to take a night off while Frank Kaminsky, Cody Zeller, and Michael-Kidd Gilchrist carry the load on office.
Tonight showed this not to be a reality. The Hornets can beat teams, just not the way a good team would do it. Marvin Williams, though good tonight, has been weak offensively all year, MKG’s been playing mostly MKG-type basketball i.e. devoid of offense, and Frank Kaminsky, while showing flashes of real skill, remains an individual that the team must still use sparingly due to his injury history and small injuries.
At the present time, there is no one on the Hornets that can step up and have a 20+ game two nights in a row, even against a team they should have no business sharing the court with. If the Hornets are to make any moves this postseason they need the emergence of a legitimate third player that can do what Kemba and Nic can, on the nights they just aren’t feeling it.