Hornets Need Defense, Rim Protection To Take The Next Step

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While the Charlotte Hornets improved their win total by 10 games over last year’s abbreviated 72-game season, the end result was ultimately the same: a blowout loss in the play-in tournament.

For the second straight year the Hornets finished in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and were demolished in their first postseason game, losing 132-103 on Wednesday night to the Atlanta Hawks.

If the Hornets want to end that cycle, it will have to start on the defense.

The Hornets posted their highest offensive rating in franchise history and finished eighth overall in the NBA, but the defense continued to lag behind.

Charlotte was 22nd in defensive rating among the league’s 30 teams.