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Thatíll hurt: Injuries dog the Charlotte Hornets
Ailments stretch team's depth
Published Wednesday, April 14, 2021
by Herbert L. White

Terry Rozier missed Tuesday's game against the Lakers with a knee injury, adding to a lengthy list of ailments for the Hornets.

The Hornets’ depth is under stress.

Add P.J. Washington and Terry Rozier to an injury list that already included LaMelo Ball (broken wrist), Gordon Hayward (foot sprain), and Malik Monk (ankle sprain). Washington went down in Sunday’s 105-101 loss to Atlanta with a right ankle sprain.

Rozier was held out of Tuesday’s game against the Lakers after tweaking his knee during shootaround.

“That’s tough,” said guard Brad Wanamaker, he was brought in earlier this month to add backcourt depth. “Injuries is the one part of sports that I hate. It’s a tough loss. …  Any time anyone goes out, it’s always tough.”

Even with the growing list of infirmities, Charlotte had a chance to win Sunday. The Hornets trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half but stormed back to take a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter only to lose it late. Part of it was a slow start on offense; another was failure to contain Bogdan Bogdanovic, who paced Atlanta with 32 points, and Lou Williams, who added 13 off the bench.

“I feel like we just had a lot of unnecessary help,” Hornets forward Miles Bridges said. “I think we were giving up open 3s out of that.  Like Lou Will, you can’t leave a guy like Lou Will or like Bogdanovic open for 3s in the clutch. We were just making silly mistakes. We usually don’t make those mistakes in the clutch, so I don’t think coach is really going to hone in on that a lot. But we will fix it, we’ll watch film and get it together.”

Said coach James Borrego: “We struggled to score early on, just couldn’t make a shot. We had a rough first quarter scoring the ball. So, we’ve seen that a few times throughout the last couple weeks. Our guys continue to fight.”

Charlotte’s dedication to defense has been essential to their 27-26 record going into Wednesday’s game at Cleveland. Compared to the same point last season, the Hornets were 17-36.  

“I think our guys understand the importance of defending,” Borrego said. I think there is a pride. We touched on that a few days ago. There’s self-accountability, team-accountability. There’s a real pride about our defense right now, which I like.”

The fourth quarter, giving up 30 points [to Atlanta] was a little too much there – we needed it at a better point than that. But in general, to hold them to 105, I thought our defense was pretty solid.”


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