The Charlotte Hornets have been bitten by the injury bug early this season. To be more specific, Covid-19 has ransacked this team all season long. At one point, they were missing as many as nine guys from their roster. More recently, they have lost Gordon Hayward due to health and safety protocols and he missed the opportunity to play vs. his home town Indiana Pacers. Covid even got to Kelly Oubre. When he returned, he was struggling to find his shot for the last few games, but he found his groove in a big way against the Pacers.
Oubre dropped 39 points on the Pacers and hit 10 three-pointers to do it. He was just in a different zone and he added to the Hornets 158 franchise night in a big way. The big run started for the Hornets started in the third quarter, according to Oubre:
“We just got into a zone in the third quarter that we didn’t look back. Shots started falling, guys started running up and down the court. We played in transition, which is one of our strengths and didn’t look back. Numbers don’t lie, we have a talented team.”
— NBA (@NBA) January 27, 2022
Oubre and LaMelo Ball led the charge. Their energy was infectious, but Oubre just flamed the Pacers out of their own building. He made the lead look insurmountable and committed grand larceny on the Pacers’ souls. It was ridiculous. In the past, Oubre hasn’t entertained the idea of being the Sixth Man of the Year, but he needs to be in consideration for the award. His contribution off the bench has been exactly what the Hornets needed this season. He comes in and breathes life into the offense when it’s struggling.
Don’t forget, that he has also broken his own record for most points off the bench for the Hornets twice this season. Oubre has really bought into his new role in Charlotte. Last season in Golden State, he didn’t like the idea of coming off the bench. It’s a blessing for James Borrego that he hasn’t had to deal with any ego coming from his microwave off the bench.
The running for the award will likely be tough, but Oubre has done enough already to be a favorite for the award. Only time will tell, but he Hornets fans should love their odds for Oubre to bring home that award.