How did the Hornets defense suddenly get so good? A strategy rarely used by NBA teams.

That the Charlotte Hornets play lots of zone defense this season? No huge surprise. The shocker is they play zone nearly twice as much as any other NBA team. They use this tactic to hover around the top-10 in defensive efficiency. The Hornets have been solid defensively in a 6-8 start. They are currently 11th in points allowed per opponent possession, at 1.053, and that’s virtually a tie with Milwaukee and Indiana for ninth-best. By coach James Borrego’s description, when the Hornets avoid cheap transition baskets off turnovers, they’re one of the five best defenses in the NBA. Some of that su…

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