The Charlotte Hornets fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 131-107. It was their third straight loss and at home to make matters worse.
The Grizzlies exploited some of the Hornets’ defensive flaws. They were more physical, ran in transition, and failed to defend without fouling. Fortunately, Cody Martin returned after missing 38 games. He finished with four points, four rebounds, and two assists. Not the most impactful game on the stat sheet, but it was good to see an impact player try to work his way back into game shape.
“It’s a blessing. I’ve been out for so long,” Martin said. “Obviously you never want to have to sit out that long. The staff did a great job, and I just stayed consistent getting my body right and getting to where I need to be to go out there and compete. Blessed to be able to get back out there.”
Martin played less than one minute in the season opener against the San Antonio Spurs, so this was really like a season debut for him. All that is left for Martin is to get back into game shape to play consistent, meaningful minutes. Until then he will likely continue to play in bursts. Despite it being his first game back, he pointed out some of Charlotte’s defensive flaws.
“It’s stuff that we can control – transition, running back in transition, communication, physicality in the right areas, playing defense without fouling, stop putting guys on the line so early and getting in the bonus so early which contributes to a lot of easy points for them,” Martin explained. “It doesn’t really allow us to be that aggressive on the defensive end. It’s tough because we dig ourselves in a hole sometimes and it’s hard to get out of, especially against really good teams. In this league it’s hard to win every night, it doesn’t matter who you play, so it’s about paying attention to detail, focusing on things that we need to improve our game.”
The Hornets will be on the road for their next four contest to attempt to get back into the win column. It will not get any easier for them either. They will kick off their road trip in Cream City to play Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Maybe the Hornets can come out hungry and motivated to come out with a gutty win against a championship contending team.