The Charlotte Hornets was one of the few teams that showed remarkable improvements during the 2020-21 NBA season with better performance in 10 more games than the previous season. Some of their success was due to the arrival of Lamelo Ball and Gordon Hayward who saw the team rise in the Eastern Conference as a playoff contender.
However, as the team showed impressive improvement, it was also lagging in many areas. Though they were a playoff contender, they were not able to make it to the playoffs, a feat that has evaded them since 2016.
Charlotte Hornets’ poor performance in the 2020-21 NBA season was felt by both fans and gamblers banking on the team on NBA betting sites.
Here are 5 things that went wrong for the Charlotte Hornets in the 2020-21 NBA Season and crushed their dreams of being in the playoffs.
- Injuries to Key Players
There is nothing that breaks the team spirit other than having the key players out of the game due to injuries. The Charlotte Hornets felt the worst of this during the season when its top player, Lamelo Ball suffered a severe wrist fracture that required immediate attention. This happened during the 41st tournament of his rookie season and things didn’t get better for the team after that.
Hayward suffered a right foot sprain which happened in early April, however, he was not able to get back in shape for the team after that. With the key players out, the Hornets spiralled downwards losing their play-in tournament while performing poorly in their final 25 games. Though the Hornets were not the only team to lose key players due to injuries, they never really learned to adapt without the stars in the court which led to their doom.
- Five-game Losing Streak
Talking about breaking team spirit, the Hornets were hit hard during their last five games which was the worst stretch of the season for the team. The team’s star, Ball had returned from a wrist injury but was unable to save the team as they shot a poor 29.6 from beyond the arc and 41.4 percent overall from the field. Both stats place them at 30th and 29th in the league respectively.
- Play-In Tournament loss to the Indiana Pacers
The Charlotte Hornets had their final loss of the season when they suffered a 144-117 defeat to the Indiana Pacers in the play-in tournament. The game was described as an embarrassment of epic proportions due to the failure of the team both on offence and defence, giving the Indiana Pacers a win they didn’t deserve.
- Poor Defence
The Charlotte Hornets had the worst of it all when it came to defence this season surrendering the second-most three-pointers to their opponents last season. Allowing your opponents to take so many three-pointers is a recipe for disaster so it comes as no surprise that the team saw a huge defeat in many games. The last five games made the poor defensive tactics more evident as they allowed teams to make 39.3 percent of their three-point attempts compared to the 36.4 percent they gave up in the first 67 games of the season.
- Charlotte Hornets’ offensive woes
As their defence fell, so did their offence. The team has so much work to put into their offence in the next campaign as they came in 23rd in the league in the offensive ratings and points per game. This is mostly due to the loss of their key players and due to the lack of an effective defence tactic that saw them get smashed in the 2020-21 season.
Some experts believe that the offensive struggles, as well as defensive woes faced by the team, are due to the many young players on its roster. With the experience of the NBA 2020-21 season, things should change for the better.