The month of March has been the Hornets month. With a March record of 11-2, the Hornets have had impressive wins over teams such as San Antonio, Houston, and Miami. So how did this happen?
Lets look at the stats for the Hornets in March. Only once did they score under 100 points in a game. In their wins they outscored their opponent by an average of 11 points. In March they rank third behind the Warriors and the Heat in total points scored, averaging around 110 points per game, and are ranked third in three point percentage.
They also do not turn the ball over frequently, which is why they are ahead of the the entire league in fewest turnovers committed in March.
Who are the key players for the Hornets?
With the return of Al Jefferson, the Hornets now have a back-to-the-basket threat who can give them 15 points and 8 rebounds on a nightly basis. Having a low-post threat, even in todays NBA, is important for spacing and the Hornets have really benefited from playing 4 men out on the perimeter. Kemba Walker is this teams offensive spark. He had a down year last year only shooting 30% from three point range. Now he is shooting 37% and is simply having an All-Star season.
The resurgence of Nicolas Batum has been crucial for the team. The versatile 6’8” shooting guard can run the floor and has been averaging 38% from three point range this month.
If the Hornets are going to advance in the Eastern Conference standings, they simply need more production out of Jeremy Lin. The one word that we mostly commonly associate with Lin is streaky. Seven days after scoring just a singular point against the Mavericks, Linn exploded for 29 against the Spurs.
If the Hornets can continue shooting and scoring at their present level, they would be a dangerous first round matchup for a team like the Celtics.