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Charlotte Hornets Midseason Grades

Nick Wilson Grades Each Hornets Player So Far

Nick Wilson
January 11, 2019 - 10:18 am

The Hornets, like Jon Bon Jovi, are halfway there.

There being the end of the NBA regular season and potentially Kemba Walker’s time in Charlotte.

They are also livin’ on a prayer that Walker decides to stay long-term this July.

Yet the Hornets still have the NBA trade deadline, the All-Star Weekend hosted in Charlotte and a possible playoff run to go in the second half.

Before all of that, I’ve been tasked with handing out first half grades for key Hornets players & figures. 

Not graded: Frank Kaminsky, Devonte' Graham, Willy Hernangomez, Bismack Biyombo, JP Macura. 

Head Coach

James Borrego: A

Any critics of this grade will cite the Hornets average record but that doesn’t begin to tell the full story of what Borrego has been tasked with. Kemba’s future, a team in salary cap hell, role-players starting and not quite ready for primetime young players make up the roster given to JB. Oh, and injuries galore. Yet he’s kept the team competitive and successfully installed and then tweaked his offense to get the most out of this team.

Bench:

Miles Bridges: B-

I’m grading Bridges on a curve. He’s shown glimpses but also hit his rookie wall, too. Struggles aside, there is nothing we’ve seen that should make us doubt Bridges can be a quality contributor to Hornet’s hoops going forward.

Malik Monk: C+

Monk has flashed explosiveness throughout the season but has yet to put it all together consistently. He also had a rough stretch in December with a few DNP’s but he seems to have rebounded without losing confidence. His second half will be a huge key for the Hornets. Can he translate all the talent into consistent, high-end production?

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: B-

MKG has been a vastly improved player under Borrego. You can’t tell it from reading a box score but he’s become a key cog defensively for Charlotte.

Tony Parker: B+

Parker’s on-court production has leveled off over the last 2 months but he still gives the Hornets quality minutes while being an invaluable resource to Borrego from a leadership standpoint. The team should avoid any trade temptation they might feel for Parker at the deadline. His value goes beyond the boxscore.

Starters:

Jeremy Lamb: B

On the cusp of free agency, Lamb became the Hornets second best player. He is averaging a career high in points, rebounds and steals. He’s also showed up in a few key moments down the stretch.

Cody Zeller: C

Cody’s contract might frustrate Hornets fans but he’s been a pleasant surprise under Borrego. Nothing proves Zeller’s importance to the Hornets more than their struggles since he got injured several weeks back.

Marvin Williams: C-

Marvin struggled from three to start the season among other things. He’s rebounded nicely since but you have to wonder if he’d perform better in a smaller role.

 

Nicolas Batum: D

Borrego has leaned on Batum early this season but there are more than enough moments to suggest he has started to struggle under the weight of his enormous contract.

Kemba Walker: A-

Kemba was one of the hottest players in the NBA to start the season and lit up Charlotte with a 2-game 103 points stretch. He’s cooled off since then but continues to be the epitome of a franchise player. Even more important is the franchise’s decision on Kemba’s future, whether it comes in February or July.

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