Vegas Over/Under: 42.5
The Record Projection: 42-40 of fromal The Bet: Prevent but lean under
Expecting a bigger jump from the Charlotte Hornets, who went only 36-46 last year with a largely similar roster, could be possible if the group had addressed its biggest problem.
Dwight Howard will help, though he will also keep the exceptionally underrated Cody Zeller off the floor. Lest we forget, the Hornets’ net rating improved by 10.4 points per 100 possessions when the incumbent center played in 2016-17. Malik Monk should also provide a fine punch off the seat.
When Kemba Walker sits but what happens?
He was the engine for Charlotte throughout the previous campaign, but he wore down toward the center of the season.
Tasked with too many responsibilities on the offensive end and always asked to make his own shots, Walker needed the All-Star break to refresh and could not really lead the charge back into the playoff picture throughout the season’s second half.
Perhaps the story would have lacked rather differently in case a capable backup point guard had graced the depth chart to mitigate the downfalls if Walker needed breathers.
Currently, Michael Carter-Williams matches that role. The former Rookie of the Year is by no means a game-changing existence, along with his inability to take could mess the second unit’s spacing. He’s simply not a good match from a personnel standpoint, and that’ll place the identical kind of strain on Walker once again.
Expecting six additional victories is reasonable as the group develops and fits in the new developments. Seven is pushing against it.
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