Sometimes in the NBA you must find a way to win a game on the road, against an inferior opponent, when you’re not playing your best ball. The Charlotte Hornets were able to do that tonight, pulling away from the Orlando Magic in the 4th quarter for a 120-111 win to move to 4-1 on the season. Let’s break down some observations from tonight’s victory:
Miles Bridges is the Best Player on the Hornets Right Now:
Yes, you read that right. Miles Bridges has been outstanding so far this season and his strong play continued against the Magic. Miles scored 31 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, fresh off of being announced the Eastern Conference Player of The Week. Miles, in his last four games, has scored 30,32,25 and 31 points.
Gordon Hayward was Solid:
Even though he was passive early in the game, Hayward came through in the 4th quarter with some timely baskets when the game got disjointed. Hayward finished with 24 points on 9/13 shooting. He showed good veteran leadership down the stretch when the game was still up for grabs and the Hornets will need more of these type of 4th quarters from Hayward as they move forward this season.
LaMelo Ball was Off:
LaMelo Ball had an off-night, shooting 3-14 from the floor for seven points. Ball only registered three assists and once again got in foul trouble early in the game. LaMelo must avoid some of these fouls early in the game, so he doesn’t lose his rhythm. Chalk it up to an off-night. LaMelo will bounce back from this game
Strong Play from the Bench Again:
The Hornets bench had another strong showing with Jalen McDaniels leading the 2nd unit. McDaniels scored 16 points on 4-5 shooting from three. Cody Martin added 12 points, Ish Smith was solid and closed the game out over LaMelo, and the Hornets got a positive eight minutes from Nick Richards. This will be a unit that will be strengthened once PJ Washington returns from his knee injury, Terry Rozier returns to the starting lineup and Kelly Oubre moves back to the bench.
The 4-1 Hornets will look to avoid the dreaded “South Beach Flu” as they take on the Miami Heat Friday in the House that Dwayne Wade built. Hopefully, the Hornets avoid all the temptations of South Beach and play with focus against a tough and well coached Miami Heat team.