Can the Hornets exceed their damaged expectations? Mark D. Smith USA Today

The Charlotte Hornets are looking to make the playoffs this season, and they have a bunch of new faces onboard to help. But Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's devastating shoulder injury really lowers their expectations.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Hornets probably won't make the postseason, and it's all because of MKG:

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Before Kidd-Gilchrist went down, Charlotte had taken steps to bolster its depth at just about every position but his small-forward spot. The Hornets signed guard Jeremy Lin and power forward/center Tyler Hansbrough, drafted Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky at No. 9 in the first round and traded for power forward Spencer Hawes and shooting guards Jeremy Lamb and Nicolas Batum. Well, Batum really was more of a small forward for the Blazers, but he was going to move over to the No. 2 spot before Kidd-Gilchrist went down. Batum's shift back to small forward leaves lots of room for young Hornets to move around the lineup and step up. CARMELO's projections, though, call into question whether the healthy Hornets have enough talent to make the playoffs.

Even with Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lin and Frank Kaminzky in the rotation (and Lance Stephenson nowhere to be found), the loss of Kidd-Gilchrist is devastating. It'll be interesting to see if head coach Steve Clifford can figure out a way to replace his most important player's production.