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Scouting The Enemy: Charlotte Hornets

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We take a closer look into Miami's first round opponent, the Charlotte Hornets.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With the help of www.basketball-reference.com, www.sportsforecaster.com, and www.youtube.com, we can get a good look at Miami's opponent for the next three to five games.

Centers

Tyler Hansbrough

Hansbrough is a 6'9" 250 lb. 30-year-old product of the University of North Carolina. He was originally selected in the first round of the 2009 NBA Entry Draft with the 13th overall selection (between Gerald Henderson and Earl Clark) by the Indiana Pacers. He's now in his seventh NBA season and with his third team.

Assets: Tough, feisty, and energetic rebounding the ball. Battles hard in the paint; scraps and scrapes all game, and backs down from no one. Works hard on and off the court, with great intensity. Has solid hands for a big man and is an underrated scorer when called upon.
Flaws: Doesn't have top-tier size and explosiveness for the NBA post, curtailing him at times defensively (especially as a shot-blocker). Could be much more of a passer too. While a solid scorer when asked, he's not a high-percentage point-getter (from the field or from the arc).
Career Potential: Gritty, energetic rotational post player.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

428

16.9

6.7

4.2

0.40

0.5

0.2

Season

44

7.8

2.4

2

0.20

0.3

0.2

Last 10

10

4.6

2.5

0.9

0.10

0

0

vs. Miami

18

19.6

7.8

4.2

0.40

0.4

0.1

Al Jefferson

Jefferson is a 6'11", 289 lb. center from Prentiss, Mississippi. The 31-year-old was chosen in the first round of the 2004 NBA Entry Draft with the 15th overall selection (between Kris Humphries and Kirk Snyder) by the Boston Celtics. He has spent three seasons each in Boston, with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Utah Jazz, and Charlotte.

Assets: 'Big Al' is a dominant low-post scorer and rebounder who brings a huge and powerful frame (with long arms). Can simply overpower many opponents under the basket at both ends. Very quick around the hoop for a man his size, with great hands. Will block his share of shots too.
Flaws: Somewhat injury-prone, and showing less stamina with age. Isn't very fluid (despite his explosive small-area quickness around the basket), and is not a very active passer. Needs to be better from the charity stripe.
Career Potential: All-Star center / power forward, on the decline.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

813

30.6

16.7

8.9

1.50

0.7

1.3

Season

47

23.3

12

6.4

1.50

0.6

0.9

Last 10

10

22.2

13

7.9

1.60

0.9

0.6

vs. Miami

25

29.5

16.2

9.9

1.10

0.9

0.8

Cody Zeller

Zeller, an alumni of Indiana University, is a 7', 240 lb. center and the Charlotte Bobcats last ever first round pick. He was selected fourth overall in the 2013 NBA Entry Draft (between Otto Porter and Alex Len), and is now in his third NBA season.

Assets: Mobile and instinctive for a big man. Nimble and sneaky-athletic, with excellent ability at his size to run the floor. A good scorer with nice hands and a solid mid-range shooting stroke. Hustles on both offense and defense, will poach steals, and can finish strongly in the lane. Does the little things to succeed as a pro.
Flaws: Foul-prone, partly because he lacks great length for a big man & isn't particularly powerful in the post. While a good hustler he's not a dominant rebounder. Somewhat undersized for a center, and isn't all that explosive for a power forward. Needs to develop more of an outside shot.
Career Potential: Skilled, energetic big man with starter talent.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

217

21.6

7.4

5.4

1.20

0.6

0.7

Season

73

24.3

8.7

6.2

1.00

0.8

0.9

Last 10

10

21.3

7.5

5.9

0.70

1.1

1.3

vs. Miami

11

21.3

6.8

5

2.00

0.5

0.6

Forwards

Nicolas Batum

Batum is a 6'8", 200 lb. small forward and shooting guard from Lisieux, France. The Houston Rockets selected him in the first round of the 2008 NBA Entry Draft with the 25th overall pick (between Serge Ibaka and George Hill). The 27-year-old didn't ever suit up for Houston, spending the last six seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before joining the Hornets this season.

Assets: Uniquely well-rounded and can do it all on the court: passes and shoots like a guard yet is big and long enough to defend either forward spot. Doesn't turn it over despite a high volume of passes. Fluid, smooth, coordinated, and quick for a guy his size. Versatile too.
Flaws: Could / should be more of a scorer for a small forward, and is streaky offensively (especially in generating his own shot). Somewhat injury-prone, and can use more muscle mass for the NBA game. Plays like a superstar some nights and disappears on others.
Career Potential: Inconsistent star swingman with all-round talent.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

551

31.4

11.7

5.2

3.40

0.9

0.7

Season

70

35

14.9

6.1

5.80

0.9

0.6

Last 10

10

30.3

14.6

5.1

5.9

0.8

0.2

vs. Miami

15

32.7

13.4

5.7

4.3

1.1

0.9

Troy Daniels

Daniels is a 24-year-old, 6'4", 205 lb. shooting guard from Roanoke, Virginia. Unselected in the NBA Draft, he played collegiate ball at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is in his third NBA season with his third NBA team.

Assets: Capable of getting very hot from beyond the 3-point line, thanks to a quick release, nice form on his shot, and a fearless approach. Sets quickly and can hit the trey from anywhere around the arc. Does a nice job of getting open and rebounds pretty well considering his size and perimeter focus.
Flaws: Fairly one-dimensional, with most of his game focused on the 3-pointer. Lacks ideal size for an NBA wing player and isn't a distributor who can handle the point. Would benefit by rounding out his game and developing more mid-range shots. Lacks muscle mass for post-ups or big minutes in the NBA.
Career Potential: Streaky 3-point specialist.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

95

10

4.8

1

0.50

0.2

0

Season

43

11.1

5.6

1.3

0.50

0.3

0.1

Last 10

10

14.2

6.7

1.6

0.70

0.3

0

vs. Miami

3

5.8

2.7

0.3

0.30

0.3

0

Spencer Hawes

Hawes is a 7'1", 245 lb. power forward and center from Seattle Washington. The 27-year-old was an initial selection of the Sacramento Kings, in the first round of the 2007 NBA Entry Draft with the 10th overall pick (between Joakim Noah and Acie Law). Before joining the Hornets for this season, he has also played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Assets: An above-average scorer, rebounder, and shot-blocker. Can really stretch the 'D' with his 3-point range and is a very good passer out of the post. A true 7-footer, with all the tools to be a star center: mobility, skill, instincts, coordination, and athleticism.
Flaws: Foul-prone. A bit injury-prone, and needs to bulk up and develop more of a low-post power game. Rarely shoots for a great field goal percentage for a center. Has shown some inconsistency at times early in his career.
Career Potential: Skilled rotational center with starter tools.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

630

23.4

8.9

5.9

1.90

0.4

1

Season

57

18.2

6

4.3

1.90

0.4

0.5

Last 10

10

13.6

4.9

3.6

1.60

0.1

0.7

vs. Miami

22

24.6

9.1

5.7

1.40

0.4

0.5

Frank Kaminsky

Kaminsky is a 7', 242 lb. native of Winfield, Illinois. The Charlotte Hornets him, now-23, in the 2015 NBA Entry Draft with the ninth overall pick (between Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow). This is his first NBA season.

Assets: Super-polished offensively. Has a shooting guard's game in a center's frame. Can hit the 3-pointer consistently and draw big men out of the paint. An excellent passer out of the post. Able to create his own shot and score in a variety of ways. Smart and efficient: almost always makes the right play.
Flaws: Defensively limited, due to a lack of explosive athleticism and a short wingspan. While quick and fluid, he isn't fast or a great leaper. Lacks ideal bulk for the NBA post, and isn't a top-tier shot-blocker for a 7-footer.
Career Potential: Offensively gifted 'stretch four' or center.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

81

21.1

7.5

4.1

1.20

0.5

0.5

Season

81

21.1

7.5

4.1

1.20

0.5

0.5

Last 10

10

22

8.9

4.9

0.90

0.4

0.4

vs. Miami

22

24.6

9.1

5.7

1.40

0.4

0.5

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

MKG is a 6'7" small forward from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The then-Bobcats chose him in the first round of the 2012 NBA Entry Draft, with the second overall pick (after Anthony Davis and before Bradley Beal). Now 22-years-old, he will not play in the postseason this year due to season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Assets: Energetic, intense, and explosive as a defender and slasher. Brings elite physical tools and great hustle. Uses his fantastic wingspan (seven feet) and top-tier foot-speed to make great plays on defense and to key transition. A good ball-handler for his size. Works hard.
Flaws: Not a top-tier scorer yet, and especially needs to shoot better from the outside. While a good rebounder and defender he can get a bit foul-prone at times. Could pass much more considering his above-average ball-handling ability.
Career Potential: Defense-first forward with supreme potential.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

202

26.3

9.1

6.1

1.30

0.6

0.7

Season

7

29.3

12.7

6.4

1.30

0.4

0.4

Last 10

10

29.5

8.7

6.5

1.10

0.4

0.7

vs. Miami

9

27

9

7.3

1.00

1

0.4

Marvin Williams

Williams, a 29-year-old out of Bremerton, WA, is a 6'9", 237 lb. forward. The Atlanta Hawks originally chose him in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft, with the second overall selection (between Andrew Bogut and Deron Williams).

Assets: Has quietly worked to become a highly efficient and effective starting combo forward. Able to start at either forward spot, and produces mostly across the board: scores well inside and outside, knocks down the three consistently, rebounds and defends impressively, and hits his free throws. A superb athlete too.
Flaws: A very late bloomer who has taken a long time in the NBA to play up to his talent level. Somewhat injury-prone (which obviously hurt his development somewhat). Still not much of a passer, despite excellent hands and overall skills.
Career Potential: Efficient, above-average two-way starter at either forward spot.


Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

785

28.8

10.5

5.2

1.30

0.8

0.5

Season

81

28.9

11.7

6.4

1.40

0.7

1

Last 10

10

26.9

13.1

4.8

1.60

1

0.6

vs. Miami

38

29.4

11.4

5.2

1.00

0.5

0.4


Guards

Jorge Gutierrez

Gutierrez is a 6'3", 191 lb. point guard from Chihuahua, Mexico. An undrafted talent, the 27-year-old went to the University of California and his now with his third team in as many NBA seasons.

Assets: Instinctive, fearless, and feisty running an offense. Plays with exceptional quickness and great game speed, pushing the action and making defenses react. Excels at an up-tempo style, showing ability to penetrate and find teammates with deft dish-offs.
Flaws: Slightly-built, which limits his ability to finish strongly in the lane and at the hoop. Can be inconsistent shooting the ball from the outside. Not the steals threat he could be. Would benefit from being more pass-first, and needs to be more efficient overall.
Career Potential: Super-quick point guard with upside.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

47

10.3

3.7

1.8

1.50

0.5

0

Season

12

5.3

1.8

0.6

1.40

0.3

0

Last 10

10

5.1

1.3

0.7

1.40

0.2

0

vs. Miami

0

0

0

0

0.00

0

0

Aaron Harrison

Harrison is a 21-year-old University of Kentucky alum. The 6'6", 210 lb. shooting guard went undrafted, making his way to the NBA by way of the NBA D-League.

Assets: Fearless and solid as a shooter. Knows how to get open and get separation from his man, and has nice form on his jumper. Very clutch. Brings solid size for the pro shooting guard spot and shows potential using it on the defensive end. Pretty physical and strong for a 2-guard.
Flaws: Inconsistent and can be one-dimensional (as an outside shooter). Doesn't pass much for a guard and doesn't have great moves to create for himself or his teammates. Could do a much better job of getting into the paint and drawing fouls (although he's not an explosive leaper).
Career Potential: Perimeter shooting specialist with good clutch ability.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

21

4.4

0.9

0.7

0.10

0.3

0.0

Season

21

4.4

0.9

0.7

0.10

0.3

0

Last 10

10

4.6

1.1

0.7

0.20

0.4

0

vs. Miami

1

6.5

2.0

1.0

0.00

0

0

Jeremy Lamb

Lamb is a 6'5", 185 lb. shooting guard from Henrico Valley, Virginia. The Houston Rockets picked him in the first round of the 2012 NBA Entry Draft with the 12th overall selection (between Meyers Leonard and Kendall Marshall).

Assets: Takes smart shots and usually hits for a high percentage from the field. Brings rare length for a player his size (close to a 7-foot wingspan). Uses his great length to get to the hoop, and for rebounds. Also very good on free throws. Pretty smooth, and displays solid basketball instincts.
Flaws: Streaky. Could do much more in the steals department (and even as a shot-blocker). While solid on treys he's still inconsistent from downtown. Must add weight and show he can be durable. Not the passer or ball-handler he could be.
Career Potential: Long, athletic swingman with stellar tools.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

214

16.6

7.5

2.6

1.10

0.6

0.3

Season

66

18.6

8.8

3.8

1.20

0.6

0.5

Last 10

10

14.7

5.5

3.4

0.80

0.5

0.7

vs. Miami

5

17.3

6.8

2.2

1.40

0.6

0.4

Courtney Lee

Lee was a first round selection of the Orlando Magic in the 2008 NBA Entry Draft, 22nd overall (between Ryan Anderson and Kosta Koufos). Now 30-years-old, the 6'5", 200 lb. shooting guard is with his sixth NBA team.

Assets: A well-rounded quality vet wing player who knows how to succeed in the NBA: plays tough defense, and hits the 3-ball when he's open. Also a very solid all-round scorer who attempts quality shots, and hits his free-throws. Fairly versatile: can start at either 2-guard or small forward.
Flaws: Not a jaw-dropping athlete and isn't physically imposing or very long of limb. Could be a better rebounder. Tends to be a bit streaky offensively, looking like a star some nights then suddenly like a role player on others.
Career Potential: All-round quality '3-and-D' regular on the wing.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

600

27.3

9.6

2.6

1.60

1.0

0.3

Season

79

29.5

9.6

2.6

1.70

1.1

0.4

Last 10

10

31.8

8.3

3.2

2.70

1.3

0.6

vs. Miami

22

30.5

10.6

2.3

1.70

1.0

0.3

Jeremy Lin

Lin, a 6'3", 200 lb. point guard from Palo Alto, California, is a Harvard graduate, although he did not get selected in the draft. Now playing for his fifth team in six NBA seasons, the 27-year-old averaged 18.5 PPG in 21 D-League games.

Assets: A feisty, smart leader on the court. A superb passer who excels on the drive-and-dish: has nice moves getting to the hoop and keeps defenses honest with a solid outside shot. Very aware, does a great job poaching steals, and rebounds well for a point-man. Smooth, a deft ball-handler, very quick, and constantly hustling.
Flaws: Somewhat limited as a man-to-man defender because of his average reach and less-than-explosive athleticism. Needs to keep refining his decision-making to limit turnovers. Not always a pass-first guard and occasionally forces his own shot.
Career Potential: Quality playmaking rotational point guard, with clutch ability.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

369

26.8

11.7

2.8

4.40

1.2

0.4

Season

78

26.3

11.7

3.2

3.00

0.7

0.5

Last 10

10

28.1

11

4

3.90

1.3

0.4

vs. Miami

12

22.5

8

1.7

2.90

1.0

0.6

Kemba Walker

Walker is a 6'1", 172 lb. point guard from Bronx, New York. Charlotte chose him in the first round of the 2011 NBA Entry Draft with the ninth overall pick (between Brandon Knight and Jimmer Fredette).

Assets: An accomplished leader and clutch winner. Excels at breaking defenders down one-on-one. Lightning fast, and highly skilled (with good playmaking ability overall). Brings deceptive leaping ability for both finishing the break and grabbing rebounds. Limits his turnovers too, and hits high-pressure shots. A hard worker.
Flaws: Not quite a true pass-first point guard and is small overall for the NBA backcourt (limiting him defensively). Needs to become more effective at getting into the lane and converting a greater number of high-percentage buckets.

Games

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

Career

364

33.7

17.3

3.8

5.30

1.4

0.4

Season

81

35.6

20.9

4.4

5.20

1.6

0.5

Last 10

10

33

19.3

4.2

5.00

1.3

0.7

vs. Miami

19

33.2

16.7

3.8

4.60

1.7

0.2

There you go. The series starts tomorrow night (at home) at 5:30. Join us here for the live GameThread, and keep checking back in the meantime for breaking Heat news.