Vegas Over/Under: 42.5
The Record Projection: 42-40 of fromal The Bet: Avoid but lean under
Expecting a bigger leap from the Charlotte Hornets, that went just 36-46 final year using a mostly similar roster, would be possible if the team had addressed its biggest problem.
Dwight Howard can help, though he will also keep the exceptionally underrated Cody Zeller off the ground. Lest we forget, the Hornets‘ net rating increased by 10.4 points per 100 possessions when the incumbent center played 2016-17. Malik Monk must supply a scoring punch.
But what happens when Kemba Walker sits?
He was the motor for Charlotte throughout the former effort, but he wore toward the middle of the year.
Tasked with too many duties on the offensive end and constantly asked to create his own shots, Walker had the All-Star break to refresh and couldn’t really lead the charge back into the playoff picture during the season’s second half.
Perhaps the story would have unfolded rather differently if a capable backup point guard had graced the depth chart to mitigate the downfalls if Walker needed breathers.
Now, this job is filled by Michael Carter-Williams. The former Rookie of the Year is by no means a game-changing presence, along with his inability to take could mess the next unit’s spacing. He’s not really a fantastic match from a personnel standpoint, and that will place the same type of pressure on Walker once more.
Expecting six additional victories is reasonable as the team grows and fits in the new developments. Seven is pushing against it.
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