A Guide to the Charlotte Hornets in North Carolina

Fact Checked by Editorial Staff
Charlotte Hornets Stadium

The Charlotte Hornets were established as an expansion team in 1988, but moved to New Orleans in 2002. After operating as the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, the Charlotte Bobcats expansion franchise was formed in 2004 before reclaiming the Hornets name in 2014.

They did not qualify for the playoffs this year and have the longest current playoff drought in the NBA. 

The Hornets hired Charles Lee to the head coach position and hold the sixth overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. 

Hornets Draft Odds: Who Will The Hornets Take With The Sixth Pick?

Charlotte Hornets Team

On Feb. 8 trade deadline, Gordon Hayward was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and PJ Washington was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, as the organization looks to get a head start on rebuilding. 

The Hornets finished 21-61 during the 2023-2024 season, which ranks them as the 27th team in the NBA and No. 13 in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets were eliminated from playoff contention on March 23.

πŸ€ 2023-24 Record21-61
πŸ€ NBA Rank27 of 30
πŸ€ Eastern Conference Rank13 of 15
πŸ€ Southeast Division Rank4 of 5
πŸ€ ESPN BPI Power Index28 of 30 (-7.7)
βœ… Rankings Last Verified:July 19, 2024

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Charlotte Hornets Offense

The Charlotte Hornets offense goes as star point guard LaMelo Ball goes. He didn't play between Nov. 26 and Jan. 12, but still leads the team in points per gameβ€”which should give you some indication of how the team is faring as a whole. 

Forward Miles Bridges took on some of the offensive load, ranking third in scoring and leading the team in average minutes played (36.8).

Here's a look at the Hornets offensive stats and rankings, per ESPN:

πŸ€ Points Per Game106.5 (29th)
πŸ€ Point Differential-10.2 (30th)
πŸ€ Assists Per Game24.7 (27th)
πŸ€ Field Goal %46% (26th)
πŸ€ 3PT %35.2% (24th)
πŸ€ Free Throw %78.5% (12th)
πŸ€ Offensive Rebounds Per Game9.4 (26th)
πŸ€ ESPN Offensive BPI-5.9 (26th)
βœ… Rankings Last Verified:July 19, 2024

His backcourt mate Terry Rozier stepped up in Ball's absence. However, Rozier was traded to the Miami Heat in exchange for Kyle Lowry and a future first-round pick on Jan. 23.

The Hornets offense struggles from three-point range, as they rank 24th in three-point percentage and gain just under 46% of their points from the paint. While the Hornets offense does struggle in many areas, they have found success scoring off turnovers and fast breaks. 

The problem, as you'll see below, is that they don't force many turnovers on defense.

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Charlotte Hornets Defense

The Hornets defense ranks in the lower third in most major defensive stat categories:

πŸ€ Points Per Game Allowed116.7 (22nd)
πŸ€ Defensive REBs Per Game34.8 (27th)
πŸ€ Steals Per Game6.9 (25th)
πŸ€ Blocks Per Game4.4 (26th)
πŸ€ ESPN Defensive BPI-3.6 (26th)
βœ… Rankings Last Verified:July 19, 2024

The Hornets struggle to rebound and keep opponents from getting second-chance points. Center Mark Williams is perhaps the only player close to double-double range, averaging 12.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He and Nick Richards average just over 1 block per game, while every other Hornets defender averages less than 1 per game.

Two of the team's top five players in stealsβ€”Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozierβ€”were traded at the deadline, limiting the Hornets' ability to create turnovers.

Notable Charlotte Hornets Players

LaMelo Ball only played in 22 games so far this season and only 36 total games the season before. Ball broke his ankle last season and has struggled with lingering ankle injuries. 

Such was the story of the Hornets season. The team dealt with injuries all year long.

⭐️ Starters
  • PG Vasilije Micic
  • SG Tre Mann
  • SF Brandon Miller
  • PF Miles Bridges
  • C Nick Richards
πŸ“ˆ Contributors Off the Bench
  • PF Davis Bertans
  • PF Grant Williams
  • G Bryce McGowens
  • G Nick Smith Jr.
❌ Out for Season
  • PG LaMelo Ball (ankle)
  • C Mark Williams (back)
  • SG Cody Martin (knee)
  • PG Seth Curry (ankle)

Power forward P.J. Washington was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a 2027 first-round draft pick and two Charlotte natives, F Grant Williams and G Seth Curry. The Hornets also sent two second-round picks to Dallas as part of the deal. 

Veteran Gordon Hayward was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for G Tre Mann, G Vasilije Micic, and F Davis Bertans, and two second-round picks.

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Charlotte Hornets Schedule: Most Important Games of 2023-24

  • ❌ Nov. 26 at Orlando Magic: L, 130-117
  • ❌ Dec. 11 vs. Miami Heat: L, 116-114
  • ❌ Dec. 13 at Miami Heat: L, 115-104
  • ❌ Dec. 16 vs. Philadelphia 76ers: L, 135-82
  • ❌ Jan. 14 @ Miami Heat: L, 104-87
  • ❌ Jan. 20 vs. Philadelphia 76ers: L, 97-89
  • βœ… Jan. 23 @ Minnesota Timberwolves: W, 128-125
  • βœ… Feb. 14 vs. Atlanta Hawks: W, 122-99
  • ❌ March 1 @ Philadelphia 76ers: 121-114
  • ❌ March 5 vs. Orlando Magic: 101-89
  • ❌ March 16 @ Philadelphia 76ers: 109-98
  • ❌ March 19 vs. Orlando Magic: 112-92
  • ❌ March 23 @ Atlanta Hawks: 132-91
  • βœ… April 5 vs. Orlando Magic: 124-115
  • βœ… April 10 @ Atlanta Hawks: 115-114
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Charlotte Hornets Rivals

Having a rivalry makes North Carolina sports betting that much more fun and engaging. The Hornets have a few of their own in the Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, and Atlanta Hawks.

  • Washington Wizards (60-70 vs Hornets All Time) The geographically-close Wizards and Hornets have a mini-rivalry, considering they are division rivals who play near each other. The other commonality they have is former Hornets owner Michael Jordan once played for the Wizards.

    They have yet to play a truly meaningful playoff game or series, but in their bouts in the regular season they have been evenly matched. Their rivalry has been limited to trying to get atop the division.
  • Miami Heat (78-48 vs Hornets All Time) Despite having the same birth year, the Hornets and Heat have gone in two completely directions, with the Heat winning three NBA championships since 1988.

    Some may say an actual rivalry budded between the teams in the 1990s when the Hornets traded fan-favorite center Alonzo Mourning to the Heat in November of 1995. The Heat also knocked the Hornets out of the playoffs in 2014 and 2016.
  • Atlanta Hawks (63-68 vs Hornets All Time) The Hawks are the closest team geographically to the Hornets, naturally sparking a rivalry. The Hornets have done surprisingly well against the Hawks.

    πŸ“… Upcoming Dates of the Rivalry Games: March 23, April 10

NBA Hornets 2024-25 Season Outlook

The Hornets are not eligible for the NBA Finals, having been eliminated from postseason contention in March.

The Hornets are more or less in a complete rebuilding mode: Former GM Mitch Kupchak stepped down in February after 6 seasons. He was replaced by Jeff Peterson in March. Then, not too long after, head coach Steve Clifford announced he would also be stepping down at the end of the season, and the team is still searching for his replacement.

In the middle of the season, the team traded away key playmakers in exchange for future draft capital.

Star point guard LaMelo Ball was slower to return from his lingering ankle injuries than the Hornets hoped, only playing in 22 games this season.

Charlotte Hornets Stadium

The Hornets play at the Spectrum Center, located in the Uptown area of Charlotte, North Carolina. It seats 19,077 for NBA games and 20,200 for college basketball games. It opened in 2005 and has been the home of the Hornets ever since.

The Hornets announced a partnership with bet365 North Carolina, so visitors at the Spectrum Center can see more sports betting integrations at the arena and on broadcasts.

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How to Get Tickets to Hornets Games?

The most direct method is to buy tickets for Charlotte Hornets games at the Spectrum Center through the team's official website and their Official Ticket Marketplace, Ticketmaster.

Another popular option is an online ticket resale marketplace like VividSeats or StubHub. These sites allow fans to shop for previously purchased tickets being resold by other individuals. 

Memberships and packages are also available through the Hornets Ticketing office for season tickets or multi-game deals.

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Charlotte Hornets FAQs

Author

Shannon Lane

Shannon Lane is a commercial editor and fact-checker for BetCarolina. She's spent the last decade working in sports media, including at NFL Media and as a reporter/fact-checker at Sports Illustrated. She covers everything NFL football to give North Carolina sports betters the best information on the Panthers and other NFL teams.

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