When Lance Stephenson signed with Charlotte, a little part of me died. As a Pacers fan, he made every game exciting. You never knew which Lance you were going to get. The Lance that would do anything for his team to win or the Lance that was just out there trying to cause trouble.
Not only does Charlotte get Stephenson, but they get their nickname back! Dust off your old Hornets Starter jackets and Muggsy Bogues throwback jerseys, guys. It should be a fun season in Charlotte. I mean, just look at their awesome new court.
Did Charlotte’s name change rid themselves of the ‘Bobcats stink’?
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Charlotte Hornets.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 43-39
Key Additions: SG Lance Stephenson, PF Noah Vonleh, PF Marvin Williams, PG Brian Roberts, SG P.J. Hairston, PF Jason Maxiell & PF Dallas Lauderdale
Key Losses: PF Josh McRoberts, SF Anthony Tollliver, SG Chris Douglas-Roberts & PF D.J. White.
Projected Starters: Al Jefferson, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Lance Stephenson & Kemba Walker
Fantasy Sleeper: SG Gerald Henderson – Henderson won’t be a huge steal in fantasy, but he will out-produce where you draft him. The addition of Lance Stephenson will make Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s inability to shoot a bigger weakness. Stephenson loves to drive and dish out to the perimeter. Henderson’s three-point shot has improved every year in the NBA (he shot 34.8% from deep last season). I predict Henderson will force MKG out of the starting lineup.
Team Analysis: The Hornets are a trendy pick to take a leap this season. They definitely improved their roster, but they are at least a season away from being a top-five team in the East. I’m just not sold on head coach Steve Clifford and most importantly, Michael Jordan as a team builder. They need to do some extraordinary things to change my opinion of them.
I am curious to see how Lance Stephenson will do as a team leader. He wasn’t one in Indiana. He was the kid brother to all the starters. Al Jefferson will most likely be the main leader, but with the cash Stephenson is getting, he will be expected to pick up the slack when needed. We will soon know if Indiana’s collapse had anything to do with Lance.
I see Charlotte getting off to a nice start with all the momentum that comes with new jerseys, team name, etc, but that stuff doesn’t carry throughout an entire season. Some teams just want to come out of the gate screaming because they have something to prove. Most elite teams know it’s a marathon and not a sprint. The Hornets will hit a wall and fall back to sixth or seventh in the East.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 45.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 42-40 (6th in Eastern Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.