By: Trey Walker
Well it’s finally that time of year. The NBA playoffs have returned, and once again the Golden State Warriors are the favorite to bring it home.
Although this is the heavily favored outcome, the fine folks of North Carolina can’t help but support their hometown Hornets this year. Playoff contention has been a rarity in the Hornets organization, for this their 3rd trip to the postseason in the last decade.
In those 3 trips, no games have been won(0-9).
Optimism surrounded Buzz City, as the Hornets cruised into April with the 3rd best record since All-Star Break. Their 12-8 resume sat behind only San Antonio (20-7) and Golden State (24-5).
High chemistry and disciplined basketball proved that Charlotte was a legitimate powerhouse in the Eastern Conference.
Monday night the Hornets squared off with their divisional rival Miami Heat.
To put it lightly, Miami came out ready to ball.
The Heat set a franchise record for the most points in a playoff quarter. In the first quarter they managed to get 41 points to fall! Luol Deng was the one man show, as he scored 31 points off of 11/13 shooting from the floor. North Carolina high school alumn, Hassan Whiteside chipped in 21 points and 3 blocks for the Heat.
Entering the break with a 17 point deficit, the Hornets continued to struggle to find their place in the game. The Heat outscored them 56-41 in the 2nd half. French phenomenon, Nic Batum, netted 24 points and was pretty much the only player that showed up on the offensive end.
Despite taking a big L in South Beach, don’t count our Hornets out just yet. Steve Clifford’s team plays good basketball on their home turf (30-11). Expect a good fight in Game 2.