The Charlotte Hornets today sit at 16-25. That puts them in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, 5.5 games out of 8th place. While that is discouraging, there is some optimism to be found.
First, the schedule is getting easier. To date, the Hornets have had the second toughest schedule in the NBA. That has contributed to the disappointing record. Going forward, things get much better. The Hornets have the easiest schedule from now til the rest of the season.
Second, Cody Zeller‘s recovery is going well. While it will still be several weeks until he can play, there is hope that he could be ready in another month. The team has missed his ability to lead the second unit, and his return will help keep Dwight Howard fresh.
Third, STEVE CLIFFORD IS BACK! Doctors have cleared Coach Clifford to return to the team, and he is expected to make his game return this Wednesday. While Coach Silas has done an admirable job filling it, there is no doubt that Clifford’s ability to motivate and hold the team accountable will be a huge lift to the team down the stretch. Glad to have him back!
Monday, January 15th, 12:30 PM: At Detroit Pistons (22-19)
The Hornets are 5 games back of the Pistons, who are currently in 6th place in the East. This is the second of three match-ups between the two teams (Detroit won the first game 102-90).
Wednesday, January 17th, 7 PM: Vs Washington Wizards (25-18)
The Hornets are 8 games back of the Wizards, who are currently in 5th place in the East. This is the second of four match-ups between the two teams (Charlotte won the first game 129-124 in OT).
Saturday, January 20th, 7 PM: Vs Miami Heat (25-17)
The Hornets are 8.5 games back of the Heat, who are currently in 4th place in the East. This is the third of the four match-ups between the two teams (Miami won the first two games 105-100 and 104-98 respectively).