The Charlotte Hornets have a 6-15 record and are 13th in the Eastern Conference standings, but P.J. Washington’s shooting can lift them from the bottom of the standings to playoff contenders. Although LaMelo Ball receives the most fanfare and media attention, P.J. Washington is the most critical piece for the Hornets to be playoff contenders. He is a first-round NBA Draft pick for a reason: the team expects him to be a star. It is time for Washington to meet this expectation.
P.J. Washington’s shooting does not reflect star status
First, I want to make clear that I am not asserting that Washington is a horrible shooter. He is not by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. Washington is a first-round NBA Draft pick from Kentucky, so expectations are high for him. P.J. takes many shots and misses many. Washington is shooting 44.1% this season and averaging 15.9 points per game.
To help his team to transition into playoff contenders, he must improve his field goal percentage to at least 49% and average at least 20 points per game. Such shooting and scoring expectations are reasonable for a first-round NBA Draft pick. I hope that he will not become complacent with his current performance.
With crucial team injuries, especially LaMelo Ball’s injury, P.J. Washington needs to elevate his play.
Steve Clifford must demand more from the former Kentucky Wildcat
Without Steve Clifford playing an active role in P.J. Washington’s shooting and scoring, we may never see Washington reach the field goal percentage and points per game necessary for his team to become genuine playoff contenders.
Clifford must realize the instrumental role he can play in helping P.J. reach star status. Although he may not wish to upset Washington, considering P.J. has a colossal ego, I desire to see Clifford challenge the first-round NBA Draft pick to become a dependable star for the Charlotte Hornets.