Tom Sorensen

Short takes: A close edge for Panthers; who sits when Nic Batum returns to Hornets

When Nic Batum returns to the Charlotte Hornets’ rotation, somebody has to be kicked out.
When Nic Batum returns to the Charlotte Hornets’ rotation, somebody has to be kicked out. AP

▪  The Carolina Panthers are 4-1 this season in games decided by fewer than seven points. Last season they were 2-6. In their one-loss 2015 season, they were 5-0. I still don’t know if they can generate enough points to consistently win. But they’ve been good when they’ve had to be, and that’s a fine start. …

▪  Four people were in front of me early Tuesday afternoon when I went to vote. When I voted last November, there were only two. I’d say that everybody should vote, but that’s so erroneous. If you don’t care, don’t vote. …

▪  Derek Hyatt and Bryan Mullis will headline a boxing card Nov. 18 at CenterStage@NoDa. Hyatt is from Gastonia, Mullis from Mount Holly. They earlier fought to a draw, a decision neither liked. They’ll be part of a Christy Martin Pink Promotions’ card. Featured will be fighters from Charlotte as well as Canada and California. For more information call 704-309-1777. …

▪  When Nic Batum returns to the Charlotte Hornets’ rotation, somebody has to be kicked out. I love Malik Monk’s game. The first-round pick from Kentucky is a scorer. When he gets hot, he will shoot from anywhere. In related news, he will shoot from anywhere when he’s not hot. He has the gall that scorers have to have.

But second-round pick Dwayne Bacon out of Florida State is bigger and plays better defense. If Monk isn’t scoring, he’s a liability, and he, and not Bacon, should be on the bench. Be interesting to see how head coach Steve Clifford works it out.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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