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Tom Sorensen: Popular opinion seems to be that the Carolina Panthers are poised for a fall. But expect the defense to be superb again. And training camp will tell us how worried to be about receivers, offensive line.

Hornets’ Kemba Walker, Lance Stephenson grew up playing ball against each other in New York. Now, Walker expects Stephenson to take on some of the end-of-game pressure.

Charlotte Hornets: Marvin Williams won’t be asked to win games. He’ll be asked to hit shots from the perimeter, hit the open man and drive to the basket. He’ll also be an influence on the younger players the Hornets collect.

The Charlotte Hornets will bring Gordon Hayward to town this week. Tall and athletic, a scorer, a shooter, a rebounder, a driver and a passer, Hayward would fit beautifully and could start at shooting guard or small forward.

NASCAR belonged to the South, and even though Tom Sorensen clearly was not from around here, Tom Higgins gave him a chance. Because he did, everybody else did, too.

Most of us have a July 4 tradition. In Charlotte, one of ours is to go to the ballpark for home runs, hot dogs and fireworks.

When Charlotte’s NBA team changed its name from Bobcats to Hornets, it changed its luck. ... On Tuesday, NBA free agency begins. the Hornets need two backup point guards, and free agency is full of them.

Shake hands with the Charlotte Hornets’ Noah Vonleh and his hand is all you see. Your hand disappears. So does your wrist and part of your forearm.

The Charlotte Hornets, obviously, believe Noah Vonleh will develop. P.J. Hairston, 6-6, looks like a pro. He has range, strength and size.

With the ninth pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the Hornets likely will have the opportunity to take college basketball’s best shooter – Michigan’s Nik Stauskas. And they should take him

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Tom Sorensen
Tom Sorensen has been a columnist at The Observer for 20 years and has been at the paper for 25, writing about nearly every sport in the Carolinas.