Charlotte Hornets: How high is their ceiling after hot 3-0 start to the season?

Charlotte Hornets (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)
Charlotte Hornets (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) /

How high of a ceiling do the Charlotte Hornets have after their 3-0 start to the season? 

For the first time in franchise history, the Charlotte Hornets are 3-0 and did so in impressive fashion as they blew out the Brooklyn Nets Sunday afternoon. The Hornets, heading into the second week of the regular season, are also just one of seven teams still undefeated in the Association.

With their record-making hot start, and with LaMelo Ball continuing to silence the doubters, it’s an interesting question to wonder just how high of a ceiling that the Hornets actually have.

Heading into the season, many predicted that the Hornets would factor into one of the final playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference. Though, at least through the first week of the season, the Hornets look better than that.

In fact, an argument could be made for them to possibly finish as a top 4 seed in the conference – behind the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers (or insert any other contender).

And some of the early advanced stats would agree with that.

Albeit it’s only three games, but through those games, the Hornets have a top 5 offense, top 11 defense, and the seventh-best net rating in the league.

Here’s the factor that could be different for the Hornets than perhaps other seasons – it seems like they have one budding star and another budding young star. They also have a few other quality veterans that help solidify the team’s depth.

LaMelo Ball has picked up where he left off a year ago and is averaging 22 points, six rebounds, and six assists per game this season thus far. Miles Bridges, at least through three games, has taken a big step from last year to this season. He’s averaging 25 points and eight rebounds per game on 54 percent shooting from the field and 44 percent shooting from 3-point range.

You can’t talk about the Hornets’ success this season without the contributions of Gordon Hayward and Kelly Oubre Jr., who have both been important to the team through the first three games. The fact that the Hornets have managed to do this without Terry Rozier is even more impressive.

Charlotte still has to show it can maintain consistency as the season unravels but it was a great sign to see the Hornets impose their will on a team as talented as the Nets. Beating the undermanned Indiana Pacers and lowly Cleveland Cavaliers is one thing; the fact that the Hornets were able to close out their week by topping the Nets in impressive fashion is extremely encouraging.

If Bridges and Ball can continue to play at this level, there’s no question that the Hornets could play their way into a top 4 or 5 seed in the East. That’s their best-case scenario ceiling. Though, it also won’t be a huge disappointment if they fall short of that.

Next. Brooklyn Nets: Life without Kyrie Irving hasn’t been as easy as many predicted. dark

The future is bright for the Hornets and their hot 3-0 start is just the beginning of things to come this season.