Charlotte Hornets’ Playoff Bid Suffers Big Blow With Miles Bridges Loss

By in Sports on
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The Charlotte Hornets are in the thick of the fight for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. But the Hornets may have to do it without one of their key players.

Third-year forward Miles Bridges is expected to miss 10-14 games due to health and safety protocols. That timeline is normally associated with a positive test although the Hornets did not confirm that he is currently in quarantine and could miss the rest of the regular season. There is a chance that he can return to play, but that is if the Hornets make the playoffs.

Hornets 8th in East Standings

The Hornets are currently 8th in the Eastern Conference team standings with a 31-33 record and may have to be content with joining the play-in tournament as they are 3.5 games behind the current sixth seed Miami Heat. The key for Charlotte now is to stay out of the lower positions in the play-in tournament to get a better chance of making the playoffs.

If the Hornets finish 7th or 8th, they will have two opportunities to make the playoffs. Teams 7 and 8 play for the 7th seed with the loser facing the winner of 9 vs 10 for the 8th seed. To get there though, they must stave off the 9th seeded Pacers who are just one game behind them in the standings and the 10th seeded Wizards who are just 1.5 games back. That won’t be easy for Charlotte because of the injuries the team is dealing with.

Aside from Bridges, the Hornets are without Gordon Hayward who is out with a foot injury. Devonte Graham is sidelined with a knee injury while Cody Martin is dealing with ankle issues.

Likewise, Charlotte is also missing P.J. Washington due to personal reasons.  Losing Bridges hurts though as Charlotte just got back Rookie of the Year favorite LaMelo Ball from wrist surgery. Ball and Bridges have provided Charlotte with a huge spark because of their on-court chemistry.

More Than Just a Dunker

But while he is known as the finisher who is the top recipient of LaMelo’s pinpoint passes, Bridges is more than just a dunker. The 23-year old is having another productive season in Charlotte and he is averaging 12.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists on 50.6% field goal shooting, and 40.5% three-point accuracy.

Although Bridges started the season as the Hornets’ spark off the bench, he had settled down nicely in the starting lineup with Gordon Hayward out with his athleticism, energy, and three-point shooting very beneficial to Charlotte. Bridges was coming off a red hot month of April where he averaged 19.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game with 52/47/81 shooting splits.

Now, with both Hayward and Bridges out, head coach James Borrego will have to dig deeper into his lineup to fill the void. On the bright side for the Hornets, LaMelo Ball is back to help provide Scary Terry Rozier the much-needed help although Ball is expectedly struggling with his shot after two games back. Borrego has his work cut out for him, but with a hungry young team, he hopes to end Charlotte’s four-year postseason drought.

Steve Richardson

Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! ...

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