After getting back in the win column on the first end of a back-to-back against the Washington Wizards, the Charlotte Hornets fell to the Milwaukee Bucks, 105-96.
Both teams were severely short-handed, but the Bucks showed off their depth. No Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, or Jrue Holiday at the Bucks service on Saturday night. The Hornets have been missing their usual cluster of guys which is headlined by LaMelo Ball. Charlotte just was not clicking on the offensive side of the ball. It was more of a hero ball kind of night.
Steve Clifford mentioned that it was a lot of one on one basketball being played. Kelly Oubre Jr. cosigned that notion in the postgame press conference as well when asked about it:
“We didn’t really play for each other like we’ve been playing. Playing to give each other rhythm instead of just playing to go get ours. I feel like we lacked that flow tonight, for sure, and that’s kind of the key to our game. We have so much talent that when we have everybody clicking and everybody in rhythm and touching the rock and doing what they do best, we’re tough to guard on the offensive end. I think that that’s a big factor tonight.”
The Hornets only had 15 assists and 14 turnovers to go along with that. It was a rough night for them moving the ball, but they had three guys topple over 20 points or more with Oubre, Terry Rozier, and Jalen McDaniels. When the ball did stick, those three guys find ways to be productive and put some points on the board. It is just hard to win basketball games in any level basketball without moving the rock at an efficient pace to create a consistent scoring threats across the roster.
Despite the Hornets 7-16 record, there is still optimism brimming within the locker room according to Oubre:
“I’m very optimistic, as is everybody else in the locker room, that we’re just getting started. Yeah we’ve lost some games, but we’re in a lot of games. We’ve probably lost some more than normal, but we’re still learning. We have younger guys who have never been in these positions who are getting opportunities to come and spread their wings. I feel like once we kind of get a game plan, get an identity and stick to that each and every night consistently, we’ll see the win column start to count up instead of us being below .500. It’s coming though. I have faith. Everybody has faith.”
Of course, everyone expects that kind of answer out of any player no matter what their record might be. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games and have the thirteenth seed in the Eastern conference. Things are looking bleak and they are still without their main guns to help them weather this storm.