Coming off the first playoff appearance since 2010 and turning the page on some miserable years, Charlotte now has new hope — and a new old nickname. The Charlotte Hornets have rediscovered their sting and are for real. Guided a year ago by first-year coach Steve Clifford, Charlotte restructured its entire defensive system, and along with star big man Al Jefferson saw its win total spike from 21 all the way to 43. According to analyst David Locke, the Hornets shaved off
When the Pelicans gave Tyreke Evans a four-year, $44 million dollar offer sheet last summer, fans and analysts alike were skeptical of whether Evans had earned that deal. After several years of franchise turmoil in Sacramento, Evans’ morale was at an all time low. The former Rookie of the Year had regressed from a prolific star in the making to a streaky enigma on one of the league’s worst teams. Committing near-max money to Evans looked like a gross miscalculation by a New
In a season that’s been a struggle for both the New Orleans Pelicans and its high-priced import Tyreke Evans, it seems like there’s a growing rift between player, coach and team. Evans did not play in Sunday night’s 93-81 loss to Brooklyn despite head coach Monty Williams playing 11 Pelicans players in the game. When asked why Evans didn’t play, Williams said “it’s just internal right now.” Evans and the New Orleans public relations staff declined to comment on the matter after
This is the final edition of the Rookie Rankings, and we will allow Kobe Bryant to have the final word on a race that was decided long ago. Bryant is a student of the game who understands its history and normally is not given to hyperbole. So when he offers an evaluation of an opponent – most of whom he holds in disdain – it should not be taken with a grain of salt. And here’s what he had to say about
Thomas Robinson just caught a huge break. With the possible exception of Austin Rivers, Robinson had been the most disappointing 2012 lottery pick this season. An All-American and the Big 12 Player of the Year, he went fifth overall to the Sacramento Kings, who weren’t exactly loaded in the frontcourt. There appeared to be an opportunity for Robinson to make an impact as a rookie, but he did not. He has averaged 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in just under 16 minutes.
One year ago, the Hornets bought power forward Gustavo Ayon out of his Fuenlabrada (ACB) contract and brought him to New Orleans several days before their unlocked season tipped off. Ayon started 24 games as a 26-year-old rookie and was shipped to Orlando in a sign-and-trade for Ryan Anderson this summer. That’s fairly incredible value for someone New Orleans plucked from a small Spanish club only 12 games into its ACB season. So will Ayon’s leap become the archetype for signing post-draft
Here at Sheridan Hoops, we’d like to think that we’re a little ahead of the NBA curve. Case in point: This morning, most of the basketball world is talking about how the Golden State Warriors went into Miami and stunned the defending champions by making more plays down the stretch of a hard-fought game. Three days ago, however, we already had made the case that the Warriors have been the biggest surprise of this season and have been flying under the mainstream
During Wednesday’s game, the NBA announced that Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors for November. Kidd-Gilchrist later celebrated by throwing a terrible cross-court pass in the closing seconds that became a turnover and led to a buzzer-beater by New York’s J.R. Smith that sent the Bobcats to their fifth straight loss. This is how it often goes for rookies. One minute, they are surprising us all by playing above our expectations and showcasing an