Injured Hornets small forward Cody Martin has recently joined his teammates during Charlotte’s pregame warmups, and has been working on his lateral cutting, Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer notes (Twitter video link). Boone writes that this could be an indication that Martin is nearing his return.
Martin left the Hornets’ first game of the season after just one minute of play due to a quadriceps injury and has been sidelined ever since. Martin inked a four-year, $32MM deal over the summer after a career-best season in 2021/22 as a key backup. Across 71 contests that year, he averaged 7.7 PPG on .482/.384/.701 shooting splits, 4.0 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 1.2 SPG.
There’s more out of the Southeast:
- The play of Hornets rookie Bryce McGowens has been one of the few positive storylines of an otherwise miserable season in Charlotte, Boone writes in another piece. “There’s a lot of positives going forward and he’s right at the top of that list to me,” head coach Steve Clifford said. “He’s got size, he has instincts, he has a feel for the game. But the biggest thing is he steps out there like he belongs. He’s poised, he’s smart.” Boone notes that McGowens has played big minutes in the team’s last six contests. In those games, the 20-year-old out of Nebraska is averaging 5.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 1.7 SPG in 21.5 MPG. Though he is making just 38.7% of his total field goal tries, he is nailing an excellent 45.5% of his triples and 85.7% of his free throws.
- Heat All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler did not mince words following perhaps the team’s worst loss of a loss-heavy season, a 115-111 defeat to the tanking Spurs. Butler sought accountability up and town Miami’s roster, noting that “everybody has to be better,” per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “We show flashes of what we can be and who we are. It’s just, damn, whenever we get away from that, it looks bad.” The Heat are currently 12-15 on the season. Butler has already missed 10 games, but when he has played he has been as good as ever, averaging 21.8 PPG with a .525/.378/.858 slash line, playing at an elite defensive level, and chipping in 6.7 RPG, 6.0 APG, and 1.7 SPG for good measure. The team has gone 8-9 when the six-time All-Star has been available.
- In case you missed it, the Heat recently made a new addition, waiving two-way guard Dru Smith to make way for returning center Orlando Robinson on a two-way contract.