Charlotte Hornets NBA Team Preview and Betting Picks
Spectrum – Charlotte, NC
James Borrego – Head Coach
2017 Record: 36-46
The Charlotte Hornets will be excited to start the 2018 NBA season for many reasons.
For starters, this year is special to the Hornets organization as it is the teams 30th year in the NBA.
Additionally, they will start the year with a new Head Coach and a style of basketball that caters to their style of players.
They were very busy in the offseason adjusting the team to the liking of the new Head Coach and his staff.
With the amount of youth on the team and the team veterans on the team, they should have a well-rounded team that could potentially compete for a playoff spot in a weak Eastern Conference.
Charlotte Hornets Coaching
The Head Coach of the Charlotte Hornets is James Borrego. Borrego is in his first year with the Hornets after former Head Coach Steve Clifford was terminated when the Hornets missed the playoffs last year for the 2nd straight year and the 3rd time in 4 years.
This will be Borrego’s first true Head Coaching position in the NBA. He did serve as the interim Head Coach the 2015 Orlando Magic, but this is the first position that he has been hired with the intent of leading the team.
Borrego has been an assistant an numerous teams, including the San Diego State Aztecs, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic. With the new Head Coach and a different style of basketball than what they were accustomed to with Clifford, it may be the spark that they need to get them back on the winning side of things.
Charlotte Hornets Offseason Transactions
- June 21, 2018 – The Charlotte Hornets used their first-round NBA Draft selection to pick Small Forward Miles Bridges from the Michigan State Spartans.
- June 22, 2018 – With the 2nd round NBA Draft pick, the Hornets selected Kansas Point Guard Devonte’ Graham.
- June 22, 2018 – With their 2nd pick in the 2nd round of the NBA Draft, the Hornets selected Lithuania player Small Forward Arnoldas Kulboka.
- June 23, 2018 – The Charlotte Hornets used one of their two, two-way contracts on former Xavier Guard J.P. Macura.
- July 6, 2018 – The Hornets sent former Center Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Timofey Mozgov, Hamidou Diallo, and a 2021 NBA Second Round Draft Pick.
- July 6, 2018 – The Hornets in-turn send Hamidou Diallo, who they picked up in the above trade, to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2019 NBA Second Round Draft Pick.
- July 7, 2018 – The Hornets participated in a 3-way trade that sent Timofey Mozgov to the Orlando Magic in conjunction with Jerian Grant from the Chicago Bulls for Bismack Biyombo, a 2019 NBA Second Round Draft Pick and a 2020 NBA Second Round Draft Pick.
- July 7, 2018 – The Hornets signed free agent Tony Parker to a 2-year, $10 million dollar contract. Parker was a former player of Head Coach Borrego during his time with San Antonio and Parker was looking for a change of pace after spending 17 years with the Spurs organization.
- July 26, 2018 – The Hornets signed undrafted free agent Jaylen Barford, who was formerly with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
- July 26, 2018 – The Hornets signed undrafted free agent Zach Smith, who was formerly with the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
- July 26, 2018 – The Hornets signed undrafted free agent Isaiah Wilkins, who was formerly with the Virginia Cavaliers.
- July 26, 2018 – The Hornets signed undrafted free agent Joe Chealey, who was formerly with the College Of Charleston.
- July 27, 2018 – The Hornets lost Michael Carter-Williams, who signed as a free agent with the Houston Rockets.
- July 11, 2018 – The Hornets lost Marcus Paige, who left as an unrestricted free agent and signed with Partizan Belgrade.
- July 30, 2018 – The Hornets lost Treveon Graham in free agency to the Brooklyn Nets.
Charlotte Hornets Starting 5
Kemba Walker (PG) – Kemba Walker should be one of the top 10 Point Guards in the NBA this year. Walker has been one of the best players for the Charlotte Hornets for at least the past 10 years, potentially in the history of the organization. Walker is a great scorer from the outside and he should finally have some help this year.
Jeremy Lamb (SG) – Lamb is coming into the final year of his contract and many believe that he could earn his way into the starters spot. Lamb is a decent shooter, can rebound and will add in an assist here and there to fill up his stat line each night. The questionable aspect of Lamb is his defense, where he simply didn’t look good last year. He will look to improve on his stats from last year and play some much better defense knowing this is his contract year and he wants that big payday at the end of the year.
Nicolas Batum (SF) – Batum will move from Shooting Guard to Small Forward this year, which seems to fit him better at that spot. Batum is a 10 year veteran is a consistent contributor across the board in statistics each night. If Batum does not move from SG to SF this year, then the entire lineup will be different.
Marvin Williams (PF) – Williams will be the starting Power Forward….I guess. Kaminsky really isn’t a starter but in my opinion, neither is Williams. Williams gets the nod as the starter but I wouldn’t count on him remaining the entire year as the starter if the Hornets can groom someone from within or pick up someone in a trade.
Cody Zeller (C) – Zeller isn’t all that good and it truly wouldn’t shock me to see Biyombo get more and more play time. Zeller is decent around the paint but he just has no ability to score big numbers and forces the perimeter guys to carry the workload of scoring. Another issue with Zeller is he is frequently injured. Last year, he only played in 33 games, which means he missed more time than he played.
Charlotte Hornets Key Bench Players
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SF) – For the past 6 years, the Hornets have become increasingly frustrated with Kidd-Gilchrist. He simply never turned out to be the starter that they’ve expected. Many boards have him listed as the starter at the Small Forward position but I disagree. I think that will go to Batum this year. He will need to earn his spot back in the starting lineup.
Tony Parker (PG) – It should come as no secret that Parker came to Charlotte to back up Kemba Walker. Parker brings a level of depth to the team and gives them an experienced shooter off the bench.
Miles Bridges (SF) – I’m going to list Bridges coming off the bench but if he starts playing well or if someone gets injured, we could see Bridges move into the starting lineup. Bridges is very athletic and can play both ways. Bridges will bring a level of defense to the Hornets that they don’t currently have. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them move Bridges around this year from Small Forward, Power Forward and an occasional Center during small ball.
Frank Kaminsky (PF) – Kaminsky will come off the bench and replace Williams. Neither of these guys really impress me and I don’t think that either really holds that much of a significant edge over the other. Kaminsky is young and he still has time to grow but the Power Forward spot will be one of the weakest spots on the court for the Hornets.
Bismack Biyombo (C) – Biyombo is very similar playset as Zeller and as I said earlier, will probably end up being the starter here in Charlotte. Biyombo is young and turning into a good rebounder. Biyombo needs to somehow find a way to improve his scoring but his defense alone makes him a very strong candidate to earn the starting spot.
2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets have a new coaching staff and they are eager to win. That being said, saying it and doing it are two totally different things. It’s unique in the fact that this team has the centerpiece of the franchise in Kemba Walker and they also have the future of the team in place in rookie Miles Bridges but the other pieces just aren’t all that good.
The Hornets are going to get beat badly in the paint this year against bigger teams and force them to play an up-pace tempo to wear teams down. If Lamb and Batum can help out and take some pressure off Walker on the scoring, then they may compete for a playoff spot but if they don’t step up and improve this year, the Hornets fans are in for another disappointing season.
The Charlotte Hornets are listed at JustBet at +45000 to win the NBA Championship. The odds say it all, they have no chance of winning the championship and that is a wager you shouldn’t even consider.
One wager that you could consider is the regular season win total. If the team starts to grow and the younger players mature early in the season, this team could easily surpass 35.5 games which is set over at JustBet. They very easily could go over that number by 10 games if they get their season going early.
- Odds to Win NBA Championship: +45000
- Odds to Win Eastern Conference Championship: +9000
- Odds to Win Southeast Division: +1147
- NBA Regular Season Wins Total: 35.5 games
- MVP Odds – Kemba Walker +8500
- Rookie of the Year Odds – Miles Bridges +2663
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