Playing the Field: Pro teams keep fans busy
Updated: January 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm
ENGAGE: Write a letter to the editor | Comment on this story
As the year came to an end, most if not all of our local sports teams are taking a break for the holiday season. So, let us take a look at the Carolinas’ professional sports teams seasons thus far.
The Carolina Panthers have maintained their momentum from the end of last season, winning 5 of their last 6 games, including four wins in a row to finish. Despite their 7-9 record, that last season surge gave hope to a frustrated fan base here in the Carolinas, hungry for Cam Newton and the rest of the team to make the leap to a title contender. So far, it looks as though the Panthers have answered the bell, getting out to a 10-4 record despite having the NFL’s toughest schedule, including road wins over the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins, as well as perennial Super Bowl contenders, New England Patriots at home.
The heart of the team is their defense, which is lead by Luke Kuechly, who is having an Defensive MVP-type season. Out of 14 games so far, the Panthers have held opposing teams under 20 points in 11 of them and has resulted in the team becoming the number one ranked defense in the NFL by allowing the fewest average yards a game. If the team is able to maintain that type of stinginess, and Cam Newton, Steve Smith, D’Angelo William and the rest of the offense can remain consistent, they will be formidable foe heading into the playoffs, and a darkhorse pick to win the title.
The Charlotte Bobcats, (soon to be Hornets), have surprised many pundits and even fans with their good start. They have earned big wins over top teams such as the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics, while losing close, tight games to the NBA’s elite teams like the Heat, Clippers, and Pacers. Kemba Walker has proved that he can be a dominant late game scorer when the occasion arises while averaging nearly 18 points a game. The team’s big off-season signing, Al Jefferson, has been reliable post presence, despite missing games with a few injuries. Gerald Henderson has shown glimpses as a shutdown defender in the absence of Michael Kidd-Gilcrist, who went down earlier this year with a broken wrist. Once he returns, the team will have two athletic wingmen that can defend almost any position on the court. Hovering around 500 most of the season so far, Charlotte is poised to make the playoffs in the lackluster Eastern Conference if they can maintain their current pace.
Bobcats reveal new Hornets branding
The Charlotte Bobcats revealed new logos for the returning Charlotte Hornets at a game in Charlotte on Dec. 21. Team owner Michael Jordan was on hand for the reveal, which included several logo variations, including a new playful logo specifically for Hugo, the Hornets’ mascot.
The Carolina Hurricanes look to be in a similar situation as the Bobcats, hovering around 500 and trying to make the playoffs. The team is currently in fourth place in the metropolitan division, which barely sneaks them into the post season. Eric Staal is once again providing excellent leadership and prolific scoring by leading the team in assists and is second in goals. Jeff Skinner has also played well this season, netting 12 goals so far, which is good enough for 31st best. But, the trademark of the team thus far has been goalkeeping. Justin Peters and Cam Ward have split time in the net for the Hurricanes and both have averaged over 90 percent save percentage. Peters’ average of .929 is good enough for 6th best in the entire NHL.
The Hurricanes have been up and down all season, but to make the playoffs, consistency needs to be the name of the game from here on out because Carolina has four teams within 1 point of them as they near the mid-season point.
Next month, we will be back to previewing the spring seasons for your local sports teams, including rugby, roller derby, bowling, softball, and tennis! : :
You can support independent, local LGBT media!
Give a one-time gift or sign up for ongoing voluntary online subscription to support qnotes' nearly three-decade long community service and keep our publication's dynamic, hard-hitting and insightful news and entertainment coverage alive. Click here to support us today.
Charlotte LGBT Protections
Charlotte will consider new LGBT-inclusive protections, making it the first city in North Carolina to adopt such ordinances. Click here to learn more and take action.
You can support QNotesYou can support independent, local LGBT media! Give a one-time gift or sign up for an ongoing, voluntary online subscription to support qnotes' nearly three-decade long community service and keep our publication's dynamic, hard-hitting and insightful news and entertainment coverage alive. Click here to support us today.
On Stands Now
QNotes is ready for spring and all the fine arts and entertainment that will come with it. Take a look through our Spring A&E Guide, with theatre listings, events, concerts and more, plus our cover story with local performer Tyler Smith. Also: local, regional and national news of note.
- Loading ...
Local LGBT community leaders are responding with messages of support and encouragement, following the death Thursday of a transgender student. more
Proposals that would add protections for the LGBT community, among others, to four city non-discrimination ordinances have split residents and... more
The city's fire department announced the immediate retirement of a deputy fire chief on Friday, following questions on the official's spending and... more
Community EventsTuesday, March 3, 2015
Free HIV/STD testing at North Star LGBT Center in Winston-SalemWednesday, March 4, 2015
Women's HIV Group at Different Roads HomeWednesday, March 4, 2015
Thursday Line Dance Lessons at Cathode Azure ClubThursday, March 5, 2015
Charlotte Pride Band - Spring Concert Band PracticeSaturday, March 7, 2015
Chapel Hill: 'An Enemy of the People' by Henrik Ibsen adapted by Arthur Miller