Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets need better starts to be playoff contenders

steve clifford yelling hands out

To become more competitive, the Charlotte Hornets need better starts. Yesterday, even before the second half could arrive, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Charlotte Hornets. The Grizzlies whipped the Hornets 131-107. LaMelo Ball led the Hornets with 23 points.

The Hornets must eliminate horrible first and second quarters to develop into authentic playoff contenders. When a team is not competitive in the first and second quarters, it digs a substantial metaphorical hole for itself. Teams often are unable to recover from burying themselves in such a hole.

Related: LaMelo and the Hornets get blown out by the Grizzlies

Charlotte Hornets need better starts to be competitive

The team played terrible defense against the Grizzlies.

Steve Clifford’s greatest strength is supposedly his ability to coach defense well. The Hornets’ defense was absent yesterday. Surrendering 40 points in the first quarter is unacceptable, especially at home.

Although the Hornets play with great effort each game, Steve Clifford must help his team to make a more robust commitment to defense. Better defense will help the Hornets when they do not shoot the ball well.

Related: P.J. Washington’s defense hurts the Charlotte Hornets

The Greek Freak is up next

The Charlotte Hornets face the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, tomorrow.

Although Steve Clifford will need to arm the Hornets with defensive schemes to contain Giannis Antetokounmpo (“The Greek Freak”), which is never an easy task, the team must limit what Bobby Portis contributes. Teams often overlook how vital Bobby Portis is to the Bucks’ success.

If Bobby Portis has an excellent game, we may witness another Hornets blowout loss. When Portis, a true Bucks fan favorite, plays well, it is difficult to control the crowd’s energy in Milwaukee.

Without a more significant commitment to defense against the Bucks, the Charlotte Hornets will experience another blowout loss. No one wants to see the Hornets suffer another ugly loss.

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