It is crazy. It might not look like it on paper, but the Hornets secretly had a positive offseason.
While he is not LeBron James, Stephen Curry, or Kawhi Leonard, MKG is as valuable as they are to their teams as he is to his. Kidd-Gilchrist is the definition of a glue guy. He is the other half of the heart and soul of the Hornets, along with Kemba Walker and it shows when he is on the court. When on the court, Charlotte is almost five points better the when he is gone. Also, they hold their opponents to almost two points less (which is big). When Kidd-Gilchrist is playing and healthy, the Hornets are a better team hands down.
With Lin gone, the bulk of the scoring load will have to go to Kemba Walker. Although Walker is one of the smallest guards in the NBA, he is also one of the best at putting the ball in the hole. He is lighting quick and along with his killer handles, Walker is an offensive juggernaut. Charlotte will need the best Walker possible if they wish to make it back to the playoffs.
Another key piece in the Hornets success will come from Nicolas Batum. Defense has always been Batum’s specialty, however he had turn himself into a reliable two-way player. Batum, along side Kidd-Gilchrist, can be a top defensive duo in the league. Last year, we got to see how well Kemba and Nic played together, Charlotte’s hope is that MKG makes it through the year and they have their version of a Big 3 for the entire season.
Brain Roberts will have to fill in the hole that will be left by Lin. Roberts has never been a full-time starter so he will have to grow in-season into what the Hornets need. And stretch four Marvin Williams will need to duplicate his successful season from last year in which he made over 100 three pointers.
Charlotte is not talented enough to finish in the top half of the Eastern Conference standings. Yes they are good enough to make it to the playoffs, but do not expect them to ruffle any feathers at the top of the East..