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Dwayne Bacon is Proving he’s a Valuable Rotational Piece

Dwayne Bacon hasn’t been in the Hornets’ rotation for the majority of the season and has mostly spent his time playing in the G League with the Greensboro Swarm. He was mostly just getting shots up there as he was averaging over 20 (!!!) shots a game in the 17 games he played. When he did get called back up to the Hornets, he either played sparingly or registered DNPs. However, recently with the Hornets’ season looking to go down the drain and Coach Borrego searching for good lineups, Bacon has received an opportunity and he’s made sure to take advantage of it. In March, Bacon has averaged 10 points a game while shooting 45.5% from three with a net rating of -0.3 and an assist to turnover ratio of 16 to 1 (WTF).

Watch my guy go to work here:

Bacon’s ability to shoot the three has been an intriguing development and would solidify him as a good rotation piece. In March, he only shot 22 three pointers so we’ll need a bigger sample size but the rate at which he’s knocking them down is extremely encouraging. The five threes he hit the other night in the win against Toronto obviously boosted his numbers, but before that he was shooting 36% from three in March which is really good for him.

Bacon doesn’t need to shoot ten threes a game to provide value but if he can be consistent enough where players are forced to close out on him, it’ll help the Hornets a lot on the offensive end.  Additionally, while he won’t always have an assist to turnover ratio of 16 to 1, this is valuable because he rarely if ever makes a poor decision on the offensive end.

Bacon hasn’t shot well close to the rim during this period (51.5% within 5 feet) but on the season, he’s shooting 62.9% from there and last year, he shot 61.5%. I’m not concerned about his ability to finish at the rim because that has long been a strength of his and it really was just the outside shot that was of concern. His mid-range numbers haven’t been stellar but if Bacon can be more of a “Moreyball” guy that only shoots at the rim and from three, he’ll be a really efficient part of the Hornet’s offense.

Defensively, Bacon can be valuable for the Hornets as well. He’s 6’7 220 with good feet so he’s versatile enough to switch onto multiple positions and can’t be hunted on the defensive end. Borrego has already shown trust in Bacon’s defensive ability as he’s guarded multiple elite guys down the stretch of close games.

Bacon isn’t a difference-maker but he has the potential to be a guy that doesn’t hurt you on either end of the floor and could add value with his shooting. This is the perfect rotation piece to have to build around your main guys. Bacon should be kept for next year as the Hornets have his RFA rights so he should be around for even longer. It seems that the Hornets have hit on second round picks in back to back years with him and Devonte’ Graham and this should help the Hornets as we will be in cap hell for the next couple of years.

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