LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier – two of their top three scorers – combined to shoot 15/47 (31.9%) from the field. Clint Capela (17 rebounds) dominated Mason Plumlee on the glass, and the Hawks scored at will in the paint. The year ended in disappointment, but the Hornets will seek vengeance this season.
Charlotte Hornets NBA Championship Odds & Futures 2022-23
The current odds for Charlotte futures are located in the table below. They will be especially fluid because of Miles Bridges’ uncertain future, so lookout for changes.
|Charlotte Hornets NBA Championship Odds & Futures||Odds (Updated February 2023)|
|2023 NBA Championship Odds|
|Eastern Conference Winner Odds|
|Southeast Division Winner Odds|
|Regular Season Win Total Odds|
|Odds To Reach Playoffs|
Their championship odds are astronomically long, but it’s a sensible and understandable line. Leading scorer Miles Bridges is currently confronted with felony domestic violence charges, so he is out indefinitely. It wouldn’t be shocking if Bridges missed the entire season, which would be catastrophic for Charlotte’s title chances. He is their best defender and took major steps last season as an off the dribble shooter. Without him, the Hornets severely lack 3&D wings.
The Eastern Conference is also the strongest it has been since the mid to late 1980s. The Celtics, Bucks, Heat, Cavaliers, and 76ers are legitimate championship contenders, while the Nets, Raptors, Bulls, and Hawks are formidable hurdles. That is nine teams right there considerably better than Charlotte, which means the Hornets would be fighting off the Knicks and Wizards for the final play-in spot.
Reasons Why Charlotte Hornets Can & Can’t Win NBA 2022-23 Championship
- Starting Backcourt: LaMelo Ball made his first All-Star appearance last season; he averaged 20.1 PPG, 7.6 APG, and 6.7 RPG on a 38.9 3PT%. With his tight handles and brilliant playmaking, Ball orchestrates the offense and provides clean looks for teammates. If the Hornets are going to ascend in the brutal Eastern Conference, then Ball has to progress even further as an isolation scorer. Terry Rozier, meanwhile, is a microwave scorer who posted a 3.4 assist to turnover ratio. Both guards can be effective on or off-ball, so the Hornets have offensive versatility with the duo.
- Three-point shooting: The Hornets were 6th in both 3PA and 3PT% last season, so it’s a key aspect of their identity. Charlotte had six players who attempted at least three catch and shoot 3PA per game, and the lowest shooting percentage was Kelly Oubre Jr at 35%. Their center rotation cannot space the floor, but it’s unnecessary given their abundance of shooting. If Charlotte can get hot from deep in a play-in game, they have the ability to earn a playoff berth.
- Interior Defense: Even though rookie Mark Williams hasn’t suited up for the Hornets yet, it’s apparent that he will drastically revamp their rim protection from day one. Williams stands at 7’2” in shoes and sports a higher standing reach (9’9”) than Rudy Gobert and Mo Bamba. Williams racked up 2.8 BPG at Duke and has the mobility to relentlessly patrol the paint. Overall, he brings a defensive presence that they lacked with Mason Plumlee.
- Perimeter Defense: The paint will be secure with Williams, but opponents will feast on their perimeter defense. Ball can be hunted on defense, and he is often late on rotations off-ball. Rozier has quick hands, but bigger guards and forwards can bully the 6’1” guard. Gordon Hayward, meanwhile, was a solid defender before his gruesome injuries; however, they sapped his lateral quickness and burst. At this stage of his career, average defense is Hayward’s peak. It certainly helps to have Williams cleaning up mistakes, but opponents will likely shred the Hornets again.
- Availability: The Miles Bridges situation is murky, and Hayward has only played in 60% of games during his Hornets tenure. If Charlotte implodes, it will be rooted in their unreliable forward rotation. PJ Washington and Jalen McDaniels are solid forwards who can step in for Bridges and Hayward during the regular season, but the playoffs are a completely different beast. They are not ready to handle the Eastern Conference forwards, which includes Giannis, Durant, Tatum, Butler, and DeRozan. Availability is a huge concern for the Hornets this upcoming season.
- Lack of Star Power: Stars win playoff series, and at least one All-NBA caliber player is usually necessary to advance deep into the postseason. LaMelo Ball is an All-Star, but he’s not at an All-NBA level yet. Outside of him, star potential is scarce in Charlotte. Their best option to fill this hole is Miles Bridges, but that looks bleak now. The reality is that the Hornets are missing top-end talent, and it will hinder their ability to make noise in the East.
- Atlanta Hawks
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- Charlotte Hornets
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Denver Nuggets
- Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets
- Indiana Pacers
- LA Clippers
- LA Lakers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Miami Heat
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New Orleans Pelicans
- New York Knicks
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Phoenix Suns
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antonio Spurs
- Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards