Hornets Notes: Miller, Washington, Martin, Play-In Chances

Not much has gone right for the Hornets this season, but Brandon Miller is looking like a solid choice with the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. The 21-year-old forward out of Alabama may not be part of the Rookie of the Year discussion, but he quickly won a starting job and is averaging 14.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists through 29 games.

“It doesn’t even feel like he’s a rookie,” teammate Miles Bridges said. “He knows the insides and outs of the game. He plays with amazing pace, which is not something that a rookie plays with. So he’s been very good with us and he’s going to be great within the next few years and I’m just excited to see how he grows.”

Along with making the adjustment to the NBA, Miller has been forced to take on different roles as the Hornets deal with a constant string of injuries. The team didn’t expect him to be a featured part of its offense so soon, but the absences of LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward and others have made it necessary.

“With all the injuries he’s become more of a primary scorer,” coach Steve Clifford said. “He gets more play calls and also the other part of it now is with these other guys being out, he’s getting more primary defenders guarding him.”

There’s more from Charlotte:

  • The Hornets’ injury list got larger when P.J. Washington left Friday’s game at Chicago at the end of the first quarter, Boone notes in a separate story for the Observer. Washington landed on Nathan Mensah’s foot and had trouble putting weight on his right leg.
  • Cody Martin made his second consecutive start Friday night, Boone adds. Martin’s role has been expanding since he returned to the lineup two weeks ago after a nearly year-long absence due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. “He’s made a big difference for our team,” Clifford said. “Our defense has gotten a lot better and he’s a professional player. So, I think it’s going to take him a little time to get back to what he’ll do. But he’s worked so hard. He’s done everything he can do since he’s been out.”
  • The Hornets have been stuck in 13th place for much of the season, but they haven’t given up on the possibility of reaching the play-in tournament, Boone states in another piece. Charlotte is six games behind 10th-place Chicago, and the players believe they can make a move once the roster is closer to full strength. “It’s the beginning of January,” Bridges said. “We have a big month here, build off that in February and we could be in play-in talk. So we just want to continue to get better.”
View Comments (7)