For the first time in quite a while, there’s optimism that’s lasting and not a momentary thing for the Charlotte Hornets. One thing that could possibly make the very promising looking 2014-2015 NBA season even better for them is if Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is finally able to turn himself into a consistent offensive threat.
A very good defender and sometimes exciting to watch due to the athleticism, Kidd-Gilchrist hasn’t been exactly lighting it up offensively. He averaged nine points per game during his rookie season and last year, missing 20 games due to injury, went down to 7.2. He isn’t a 3-point threat (3-of-18 for his entire NBA career) but his field goal percentage rose to 47.8%. He just needs to start taking more shots from outside the paint. In short? Develop a jumper.
And that’s exactly what the former Kentucky player has been doing. The team posted an instagram video of him working out and showcasing his new and improved jumper, which means that defenses might need to start taking him more seriously when he’s not near the basket.
Allegedly, this has a lot to do with Mark Price, one of the assistants on the team and one of the best shooters in the history of the NBA, taking it as his personal mission to make Kidd-Gilchrist a more decent shooter.
The Hornets have a very good inside presence in Jefferson, not to mention players who can score down low. Last season, which ended in a first round exit against the Miami Heat, shooting and spreading the floor was a big problem. Lance Stephenson is going to help with that, and while Kidd-Gilchrist isn’t going to suddenly become Ray Allen or Mark Price himself when it comes to his shooting numbers, his ability to actually have a respectable jump shot could be a big bonus to this team on the rise.