As encouraging as progress is, it means nothing if the final goal is never reached.
Naturally, the final goal for the Charlotte Hornets is an NBA championship.
Until this season, the Charlotte franchise had been the league’s biggest punchline after ending the 2011-12 lockout season with the single-worst winning percentage in NBA history. The addition of Al Jefferson exactly one year ago would change all that, and eventually allow the Bobcats to slip into the postseason as the seventh seed.
A seventh seed is no small feat for a team that was laughably-bad just two years ago, but sitting in that spot in the ever-so-weak Eastern Conference shows that Charlotte has a long way to go before it becomes a real title threat.
Under Steve Clifford last season, the Bobcats established a defensive, “grind it out” mindset. While the new system certainly did wonders for the club, there had to be sacrifices made. Now, with their identity solidified, the Hornets need to make a few small changes that, in time, will enable them to hold that Larry O’Brien Trophy.