Some teams simply can’t catch a break down the stretch of this NBA season.
The Charlotte Hornets are going to be without Miles Bridges for at least a few games after the forward entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday afternoon.
The Hornets had just been made whole a few games ago when Malik Monk returned from an ankle injury that had kept him out for 15 consecutive games. Joining Monk in his return was rookie of the year candidate and No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, LaMelo Ball.
Rookie sensation Ball had been out with a broken wrist which was thought to be an injury that would keep the youngster out for the rest of the campaign, but once again, Ball has taken us all by surprise.
Unfortunately, he will be without his favorite partner-in-crime in Bridges, a high-flying dunker that has supplied the ‘oop’ for many a LaMelo ‘alley’ so far during an exciting and encouraging season for this youthful and exuberant Hornets squad.
Despite missing over a month with the wrist fracture, Ball remains a great NBA pick to win Rookie of the Year, boasting -500 NBA odds to win on 10Bet. Hey, we said they were great odds, not that they were offering anything in terms of value.
In terms of the overachieving Hornets, they currently sit in eight place in the Eastern Conference, which is not a bad spot for the play-in tournament. However, they’re not being given much of a chance to take the conference by storm despite their world-class commentating team and exciting brand of play, offering huge +8,000 NBA odds to win the East. Not one of our top picks, needless to say.
The returns of Ball and Monk will at least serve to blunt this loss somewhat, but they’re still without veteran Gordan Hayward, who’s been sidelined for nearly a month with a foot sprain. Forward PJ Washington also missed the team’s contest with the Detroit Pistons.
WIth Hayward already out, the last two guys the Hornets could afford to lose were Bridges and Washington. With all three out of commission, Charlotte will be very thin in the frontcourt and will need to lean heavily on their talented backcourt as well as veteran big men Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo to make up for the lost production.
Charlotte has lost three of their past four as of this writing, so Bridges, Washington, Hayward or not, they’re going to need to find a way to get results down the stretch. They sit in an interesting place right now where, depending on how they do in their final eight games, they could finish basically anywhere.
They currently sit just 3.5 games behind the Miami Heat, who sit safe from the play-in tourney in sixth place, but they’re also just two games ahead of the Washington Wizards in 10th place and five games in front of the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors, who sit just below the play-in threshold right now in a tie for 11th.
The next two weeks should see some of the most exciting basketball that Hornets nation has been treated to in a while. Lucky for them, no matter the outcome, they’ll have Eric Collins and Dell Curry talking them through it, and it doesn’t get much better than that duo in the booth