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Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets

Source: Jacob Kupferman / Getty

The NBA Finals get underway tonight, as the Nuggets will host the Heat in Game 1 of the Finals. Both teams have been built differently, as Denver has drafted and developed their stars in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Meanwhile, while Miami did draft Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, they’ve acquired Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry in free agency. Either way, both have built a consistent winners and will be a force in the NBA for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, in Charlotte, the Hornets haven’t officially made the NBA postseason since 2016, as they’ve yet to advance past the NBA Play-In tournament, losing in blowout fashion in 2021, and then again in 2022. When looking at the two teams that will compete for an NBA championship, which team should Charlotte emulate? This was the discussion in the final hour of the Wes & Walker Show, and both admit that Denver is the easier blueprint to follow, as Charlotte isn’t as attractive as Miami for free agents. The good news for Charlotte is that they have already drafted two potential stars in LaMelo Ball, who was the Rookie of the Year and made the All-Star Game last season. Add in what Mark Williams did down the stretch, it’s not crazy to think that Williams, will be among the better big men in the league in the years to come. The thing that Charlotte needs to do if they were to copy the Denver blueprint, is to build depth up and down the roster. As great as Jokic and Murray are, Denver is blessed with enough quality role players, that can help carry the load on qn off night. Even when the Hornets were at full capacity this season, there wasn’t enough help off the bench, consistently for the team to compete on a night-in, night-out basis.

Charlotte owns the #2 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, which is three weeks away from tonight, and before they can dream about making the NBA Finals, they need to win a seven-game playoff series, something the franchise has failed to do. If Charlotte were to nail this draft pick, either in the form of Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller, they may have their core to build around, making it easier for Hornets fans to believe they will see a winner again.