The Hornets don’t have many two-way players. Fortunately, they have a lot of players who can shoot the ball. That’s where small-ball lineups come into play.
With plenty of players to pick from (especially on the wing), it’s hard to decide between many players. There really aren’t any locks when you go small with the Hornets.
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Malik Monk
SF: Miles Bridges
PF: Marvin Williams
C: Frank Kaminsky
The Charlotte Hornets’ captain is also the team’s best shooter. Walker, who shot 38 percent from 3 on almost eight attempts per game last season, is the only surefire starter (along with MAYBE Nicolas Batum) in the Hornet’s rotation this year. This was the only obvious choice for this lineup. I mean, he’s Kemba frickin’ Walker. There’s no way I couldn’t logically include him.
Going into the 2017 NBA Draft, Monk’s biggest strength was his shooting. Head coach James Borrego has hinted Monk will be playing a sixth-man type role for Charlotte this season. If and when the Hornets decide to play small-ball, Monk will almost certainly be on the floor. The only other option at the shooting-guard spot would be Tony Parker. However, he simply does not have the shooting ability of a Kemba Walker or Malik Monk. Parker shot a career-low 27 percent from 3 on less than one attempt per game last season. Not a large sample size, but again, this is probably due to his lack of efficiency. Monk just makes more sense here.
This selection came down to Bridges and Batum. And yes, while Batum is a much better creator, Bridges is better from beyond the arc, shooting a solid 36 percent from 3 at Michigan State according to the Stepien, while Batum is a career 35 percent shooter. Bridges is also a more consistent defender as well with a higher athleticism. With Walker and Monk’s creating, Bridges will add a different skill set on the wings. He’s simply a better fit for a lineup of this manner.
Marvin Williams is another undersized forward who’d gel very well with a backcourt that already features Kemba Walker and Malik Monk. Williams actually led the NBA in 3P% for a short time in the middle of last season. He was arguably one of the Hornets best two-way players last season. This gives Charlotte another option to space the floor on offense and another versatile defender.
Why not add another shooter on a team that’s full of them already? Frank Kaminsky is a living meme and Hornets fans either love or hate him. But he is a good fit for this lineup, especially with good defenders like Miles Bridges and Marvin Williams at the three & four. Assuming the previous four players are indeed apart of Charlotte’s small-ball lineup, adding Kaminsky simply allows the Hornets to grow on one of their strengths.