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More likely: Monk in the 3pt contest or Bridges in the dunk contest?— Adam Chandler (@adamcawa) October 11, 2018
The Charlotte Hornets will be hosting the 2019 NBA All-Star break, which means that the Dunk Contest, 3-point contest, Skills challenge, and All-Star game will all be held in the Spectrum Center.
But predicting either Monk making the 3-point contest or Bridges playing in the dunk contest is like attempting to beat Michael Carter-Williams in a pickup basketball game (it’s possible, but definitely isn’t simple). Looking back on the participants of both the dunk contest and 3-point shootout, it’s more likely Bridges is going to posterize a motorcycle (or something weird like that) than Monk shoot 25-some jump shots.
This is simply due to the caliber of player participating in each contest. While the Dunk Contest had Donovan Mitchell, Victor Oladipo, Dennis Smith, and Larry Nance all participate in 2018 (two rotation players as well as two stars), the 3-point shootout had Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal, Paul George, and Devin Booker as headline players (along with other stars - the “worst” player in the 2018 Dunk Contest was 6th Man of the Year candidate Eric Gordon). No offense to Malik Monk, but he just isn’t that good of a player yet.
Will the new offensive system help it hinder Kemba’s all star campaign? Sure there’s more space, but with the ball in his hands less will his numbers go down?— The British Buzz (@British_Buzz) October 11, 2018
If anything, I believe Kemba Walker’s numbers will rise. James Borrego has emphasized playing with more speed, and that can only play to Walker’s advantage, especially in transition.
Not to mention, with the All-Star game being in Charlotte, I think Walker will be in, if even partially because he plays in Charlotte. Last season, it took three replacements before Walker was eventually named to the All-Star game.
And while nobody wishes injury upon anyone, it was just plain shameful to see both Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond selected above Walker.
what’s the biggest hole on the hornets roster at the moment?— Blicky Rubio (@noahcialism) October 11, 2018
The biggest hole on the team, as of now, at least, is the starting power forward spot. Marvin Williams has been a rather consistent starter for Charlotte since 2015. But Williams is turning 33 years old next summer, and while Miles Bridges is certainly able to play power forward, it isn’t his natural position.
Getting a solid, young forward on the roster in 2019 should be a priority for Charlotte, should Williams start declining in his play in 2018. Fellow ATH writer Andrew wrote a great piece on Williams last month, for those interested.
Is Frank Kaminsky a hornet at the all star break?— Benjamin Rush (@thebenjaminrush) October 11, 2018
Frank Kaminsky hasn’t been great in the preseason. Yes, there is a lot of time for him to “turn it around,” but it seems as if Kaminsky will be left out of the 10-man rotation in favor of Cody Zeller, Willy Hernangomez, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (who is now primarily playing power forward).
Dealing Kaminsky may, in fact, be in the Hornets best interest, especially if they don’t plan on using him this year or in the future. I wouldn’t completely rule out a Kaminsky trade by February, but I wouldn’t exactly expect one either. I’m not necessarily sure that other NBA teams will be interested in him.
However, again, I wouldn’t rule it out, either. Kaminsky shot 38 percent from 3 last year, and the stretch big has become an increasingly important position on NBA teams in recent years.
When Parker takes one of his many rest days off, who do you trust to run back-up, Monk or Graham?— fatleverRGM (@fatlever) October 11, 2018
This is a SUPER underrated question. Tony Parker is a crisp 36-years old and isn’t getting any younger. The Hornets will likely favor Monk at the backup point guard spot, simply because he already exists in the rotation. This will bring either Dwayne Bacon or Frank Kaminsky on the floor.
For what it’s worth, this is hypothetical, and I’m interested to see how Borrego utilizes his bench just as much as the next guy, but my guess would have to be Malik Monk. Devonte’ Graham, though 23 years old, it still a long-term project and probably won’t get much run this year regardless of what happens.