Milwaukee Bucks: 3 things to watch for in matinee visit to Charlotte Hornets

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – FEBRUARY 12: (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – FEBRUARY 12: (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

That stinging feeling

Williams, along with the buyout of veteran forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, has kicked on the Hornets’ rebuild further than was already the case throughout the season. Only Nicolas Batum and Cody Zeller stand as the last vestiges from the last Hornets team to make the postseason nearly four years ago.

Even with the loss of veteran voices like Kidd-Gilchrist and Williams, the young Hornets have kicked back into their plucky selves coming out of the All-Star break where they’re 3-2, with the Raptors’ win being the standout victory of this run.

With all of that said, the Hornets were dealt a pretty big blow when The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday afternoon that third-year guard Malik Monk is suspended indefinitely as a result of violating the league’s anti-drug program.

The 11th overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft, Monk has struggled to translate the potential he showed before arriving to Charlotte and this latest suspension could cast a dark cloud on his Hornets tenure, especially going into a contract year next season.

To make matters worse, second-year guard Devonte’ Graham has gone through quite the cold spell as the season has moved along, especially as he’s played more minutes than he’s been accustomed to seeing at previous levels. It’s safe to say that the grind of an 82-game season has worn on Graham as he talked about with Roderick Boone of The Athletic:

"“You’ve kind of just got to stay locked in,” Graham said. “When I get out of the gym and I’m around family and friends, I try not to talk about it a lot. I try to keep my mind away from basketball. When I’m by myself, if I’m watching film with the coaches or whatever the case may be, then I will lock in. But my peoples always want to call me and are like, ‘Aw man, you shot this many …’” That’s when Graham cuts them off. “‘Man, I don’t feel like talking about basketball right now,’” he’ll say. “I’ve got to talk about something else because it’s just 24/7. So that will wear you down mentally and just you have to get your mind off it for real.”"

Certainly no one said all aspects of undergoing a rebuild with inexperienced players trying to develop their career would be easy, especially over many months. And the loss of those veteran guides forces the many young Hornets players to pick up the pieces and trudge forward.