Nobody Expected THIS To Happen!
Lamelo pump fakes, spins, drives and delivers a beautiful wraparound pass to Bridges who cocks it way back for an absolutely nasty dunk.
As you watch some of the highlights from the rookie phenom, it’s inevitable that you give him the majority of the credit for Charlotte’s 7 spot at the moment when everyone predicted they would be dead last in the east before the season. Since basically nobody expected this to happen.
But actually I’m here to tell you that it’s all about team play. It’s the entire roster that’s making it work. Let me explain. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
The one key factor that directly correlates to the solid start from Charlotte is this.
Out of all the shots they make, 70% of them are assisted so far.
They are hands down at the very top of the NBA when it comes to both this statistic, and the overall assists per game.
But 70% is an incredible number especially when compared to Portland’s 49 and a half and Boston’s 54% with their isolation heavy superstars.
This is not a knock on these 2 teams per say, since they do have phenomenal shot makers on their rosters, but it does speak a ton about the unselfish culture that the Hornets are trying to develop, and how the players themselves have bought into the system that coach James Borrego has put in place.
Of course when talking about this team and assists, the first guy that comes to mind is Lamelo Ball. And he’s been all over the top 10 lists with crazy passes like these. Deservedly so of course.
But at the same time, you need to know that a lot of guys on this team are capable of finding the right guy for the shot.
Devonte Graham for example has almost the same assist numbers as the rookie.
He is deceivingly quick and can penetrate against defenders, before kicking it out to the open shooter like he did here.
But check out 1 very interesting thing that really speaks for Charlotte’s altruistic style of play and the tempo in their offense.
The NBA apparently tracks everything. Even the average time of a player with the ball in his hands.
So according to their metrics, as a team the Hornets are number 2 in the league with 2.7 seconds only behind Golden State. So as you can also see in some of these clips, the ball isn’t sticking, and the players are quick in making a decision which further points the argument that this is such an unselfish group that genuinely likes playing together and sharing the ball.
Remember how Gregg Popovich had that saying that went something along the lines of: once you catch the ball, be quick with your decision, either pass, drive or shoot. Never waste any time and dribbles doing nothing.
Well Borrego definitely knows this, as he started as a video coordinator for the Spurs, before becoming an assistant coach right next to Pop. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the Hornets are snappy.
And when a team does that in the half court, you know that they have to be excellent in transition. The Hornets like to push the tempo and are again second in the league in this category with 23 and a half points per game in scenarios of defense to offense.
When you have electric guards like Lamelo Ball and Terry Rozier who can go end to end in the blink of an eye that will happen.
And of course you remember this dunk that Scary Terry had right in KD’s face. This was possible because of his early run and the bullet pass by Lamelo.
The season is still young and as easy as Charlotte can get to the number 5 spot, they are just 2 games ahead of the 13th spot in the east. So in order to stay in the race for the playoffs, the Hornets will need to continue playing this way and of course nurturing this good culture that they have going on, while developing Lamelo Ball into their franchise leading point guard.
That’s it for now, subscribe and talk to you in the next one. Peace out.