Charlotte Hornets

Meet the Charlotte Hornets

No. 8 Bismack Biyombo

Position: Center

Season: 4

Ht/Wt: 6-9, 245

Strength of his game: He averaged 1.12 blocks per game last season. That’s solid, if not spectacular, as a rim protector playing backup minutes.

What he needs to do better: He’s not noticeably better offensively than he was when the then-Bobcats used a lottery pick to select him. He has no dependable go-to move.

No. 19 P.J. Hairston

Position: Guard-forward

Season: rookie

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 220

Strength of his game: He has genuine NBA 3-point range which, by-and-large, the Hornets have lacked in recent memory.

What he needs to do better: While Hairston has the size to be a strong defender, he needs to make improvements at that end to be a starter in the NBA.

No. 9 Gerald Henderson

Position: Guard-forward

Season: 6

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 215

Strength of his game: He has the explosion to get to the rim and create free-throw opportunities and he’s physical enough to be a decent defender.

What he needs to do better: He isn’t a 3-point threat (30 percent career) and he needs to be a better ballhandler to aid his driving game.

No. 25 Al Jefferson

Position: Center

Season: 11

Ht/Wt: 6-10, 289

Strength of his game: He is as crafty a low-post scorer as there is in the NBA. What he does is somewhat a lost art in pro basketball.

What he needs to do better: By his own description teams target him defensively with a series of high pick-and-rolls that expose his limited lateral quickness.

No. 14 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Position: Small forward

Season: 3

Ht/Wt: 6-7, 232

Strength of his game: He’s a very strong defender, both individually and in team concepts. And he’s an above-average rebounder (5.2 per game) for his position.

What he needs to do better: His jump shot was a wreck coming into the NBA. Working with assistant coach Mark Price, he’s improved his delivery.

No. 54 Jason Maxiell

Position: Forward

Season: 10

Ht/Wt: 6-7, 260

Strength of his game: He’s a veteran who knows his limitations; at this stage of his career he’s a practice player and insurance policy against others getting hurt.

What he needs to do better: There’s not a lot to change; he’s close to the end of his NBA career and he understands as much.

No. 12 Gary Neal

Position: Shooting guard

Season: 5

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 210

Strength of his game: He’s generally described as a spot-up shooter, but he’s more than that – solid off the dribble and a good ball distributor.

What he needs to do better: He can’t make himself taller, but that’s the compromise in playing him – he’s a bit undersized for an NBA shooting guard.

No. 5 Jannero Pargo

Position: Point guard

Season: 11

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 175

Strength of his game: He made 40 percent of his 3-point attempts last season on a team in the bottom third of the league in 3-point accuracy.

What he needs to do better: There’s not much to change this late. He’s a third-string point guard and comfortable with a role that extends his playing career.

No. 22 Brian Roberts

Position: Point guard

Season: 3

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 173

Strength of his game: He’s a career 37 percent shooter from 3-point range and adept at running the pick-and-rolls that are the basis of most NBA offenses.

What he needs to do better: Defend, and that’s a tough thing considering he’s rather undersized by NBA standards.

No. 1 Lance Stephenson

Position: Guard-forward

Season: 5

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 230

Strength of his game: They’re abundant; he’s a scorer, but also a strong ballhandler/distributor with the ability to create easy shot opportunities for teammates.

What he needs to do better: He’s never been asked to be a star at the NBA level and that’s what the Hornets need from him.

No. 44 Jeff Taylor*

Position: Small forward

Season: 3

Ht/Wt: 6-7, 225

Strength of his game: He’s a strong defender and a decent jump-shooter. He’s also an explosive leaper, among this team’s best athletes.

What he needs to do better: He doesn’t rebound particularly well (2.3 per game last season) and his 3-point percentage last season (27 percent) was lacking.

*Taylor is not with the team after being arrested on a domestic violence charge in Michigan.

No. 11 Noah Vonleh

Position: Power forward

Season: Rookie

Ht/Wt: 6-10, 240

Strength of his game: He is incredibly long and yet he’s coordinated in a way many big men aren’t coming out of college.

What he needs to do better: Coach Steve Clifford wants him to be physical inside, rather than be overly dependent on his jump shot.

No. 15 Kemba Walker

Position: Point guard

Season: 4

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 184

Strength of his game: He has great burst off the dribble in pick-and-roll situations and he improved last season as a ball-distributor.

What he needs to do better: He’s a career 40 percent shooter from the field and a 32 percent shooter from 3-point range.

No. 2 Marvin Williams

Position: Power forward

Season: 10

Ht/Wt: 6-9, 237

Strength of his game: Clifford likes his decision-making with the ball – quickly discerning whether to shoot, dribble or pass.

What he needs to do better: He didn’t shoot all that well in the preseason, which was touted as a strength when the Hornets signed him.

No. 40 Cody Zeller

Position: Power forward

Season: 2

Ht/Wt: 7-0, 240

Strength of his game: He appears to have improved his jump shot, which is key to him playing more in the style of offense Clifford uses.

What he needs to do better: Sometimes he struggles to guard without fouling. In one preseason exhibition, he committed five fouls in 17 minutes.

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