The Charlotte Hornets needed a hero. Superman delivered.
The Charlotte Hornets began a very difficult slate of games this week with a big 118-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Center Dwight Howard, had a monster game. Howard has struggled lately, and whispers were beginning that the team might be better with Cody Zeller starting in his place.
Howard responded to the questions with a dominating 25 points and 20 rebounds. He was an incredible 8-10 from the field (one of those misses was a three point attempt at the half time buzzer) and, get this, 9-14 from the free throw line. Dwight also provided 4 blocks, setting a tone for Charlotte’s defensive intensity. He outshone his counterpart on the Minnesota Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
One of the best surprises tonight was the play of forward Frank Kaminsky. Kaminsky, who has struggled lately after a hot start to the season, responded tonight with 24 points off the bench. Charlotte played well as a team, and was able to overcome a relatively average game from team captain Kemba Walker, who only had 14 points and 3 assists.
The NBA game has changed, with much more emphasis in today’s game on perimeter shooting. Because of this, Dwight Howard just won’t be as effective as fans might want every night. Charlotte held Minnesota to only 22% from three, which allowed Howard to stay close to the basket and utilize his skill set as a shot blocker. It won’t be there every night, but it was tonight and Dwight took advantage.
Charlotte did not play a perfect game. Charlotte had way too many turnovers in the first half (11). The offense struggled again to get great spacing. Tonight, though, Charlotte was able to dominate the glass (52-38) and Howard was able to get put backs to bail out the offense.
Next up for Charlotte is hosting Washington, a division opponent and rival, on Wednesday. Tonight’s win was a great team win and let’s hope the momentum continues!