After four seasons, James Borrego is out as the Charlotte Hornets’ head coach. The announcement came earlier this morning. Borrego’s record was 138-163 during his time in the Queen City.
The Hornets were able to make the play-in-tournament the last two seasons as the 10th seed, but were smoked last year by Indiana and the Atlanta Hawks this season. Whatever goodwill Borrego had with the front office was lost with the Hornets performance in the play in.
Many fans have often question Borrego’s defensive schemes, rotations and his plan for some of its young players – most recently James Bouknight. Bouknight and Borrego exchanged words on the bench in the middle of a losing streak before the All-Star break. This move signals that the front office will not accept being the 10th seed.
Was this decision to fire Borrego the right decision? I believe so. I don’t think this team’s ceiling with Borrego will be much higher than what it is now. Charlotte proved two years in a row they aren’t ready for postseason basketball. In those games Charlotte offered very little resistance on the defensive side of the ball. In Borrego’s seasons Charlotte has routinely been near the bottom of the NBA in defensive rating. Some of that is personnel and some of that is scheme. The front office has decided that a new voice is needed to lead this team.
Whoever Charlotte hires next must give LaMelo the keys to the team (with no handicaps), develop its younger players and be a leader of men. Yes, Charlotte has important personnel decisions to make this off season. They must find an interior presence and find a suitor for Gordon Hayward’s contract. The Hornets also have has two first-round draft picks that they can use to make a move this off season. This is an important off season for Charlotte as LaMelo Ball enters year three. Hiring a coach that knows how to get the most of his point guard will be essential.