The Charlotte Hornets have started off the season 5-1 for the first time in franchise history. The Hornets are finding success by having one of the best defensive ratings in the NBA at 96.5.
Head coach Steve Clifford has brought a great defensive focus and has attributed to more wins in that column. In addition to their ability to maintain a top-10 defense, Clifford is also likely the reason for their offensive improvement from last season.
Last season, Charlotte was one one of five teams that ranked in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. However, they struggled at 30.8 percent from the 3-point line in the playoffs, and couldn’t keep Jeremy Lin, Courtney Lee or Al Jefferson in free agency.
Those losses haven’t mattered with their improved defense this year, plus the return of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the addition of Roy Hibbert. On offense, where they could’ve taken a step backward, new backup wing Marco Belinelli has made a big bounce back from the worst shooting season of his career last season.
Things are definitely looking up for the Hornets even though it is early in the season. If they can continue to play at the same pace and move the ball unselfishly they will be more than capable of making a deep playoff run. Hornets fans have a lot to look forward to this season and should have high expectations for their team.