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NBA Power Rankings

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13. Charlotte Hornets
2021-22 record: 5-2
Previous ranking: 14

Charlotte got a nice lift from LaMelo Ball and Kelly Oubre Jr. during Sunday's win over the Trail Blazers to finish the week at 2-2. The pair combined for 53 points for a team that loves getting up and down the court. The Hornets have an intriguing matchup on Wednesday against Curry and the Warriors, as Oubre gets to see his old teammates for the first time. Ball also gets to remind Golden State what might have been if it had selected him -- not 2020 No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman. -- Friedell


8. Charlotte Hornets

Current record: 5–2
Previous ranking: 4

Even if Miles Bridges is only 75% as good as he’s been during Charlotte’s first six games, he will likely run away with the Most Improved Player award. Bridges’s 25.5 points a night are more than double what he averaged in 2021. Betting on himself ahead of restricted free agency appeared to be a smart choice.



Last Week: 12 

Charlotte Hornets

Record: 5-2
Pace: 102.2 (8) OffRtg: 114.6 (2) DefRtg: 110.9 (27) NetRtg: +3.8 (7)

The Hornets’ game against Portland on Sunday was the first of their seven that they didn’t trail by double-digits. But they were down seven at the half before outscoring the Blazers, 72-53, over the final 24 minutes. Through Week 2, Charlotte has been outscored by 14.2 points per 100 possessions (the league’s third worst mark) in the first half of games, but is a +25.6 (the league’s best mark by a healthy margin) in the second half. And that’s with LaMelo Ball having shot much better before halftime (effective field goal percentage of 60.7%) than he has after it (39.3%).

Gordon Hayward (4-for-4 from 3 after halftime in Miami on Friday), Cody Martin and P.J. Washington (6-for-6 in the second half on Sunday) have all shot better after the break, and the much bigger difference has been on defense, where the Hornets have been absolutely brutal (120.4 points allowed per 100 possessions) before halftime.

The Hornets rank as both the league’s best third-quarter team (+27.8 points per 100 possessions) and its best fourth-quarter team (+23.3). One of the other two teams that ranks in the top six in both quarters is the Warriors (fourth and sixth), who the Hornets will visit on Wednesday, the start of a five-game trip.

Week 3: vs. CLE, @ GSW, @ SAC, @ LAC

Edited by jayboogieman
Forgot SI link
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