At 40, James Borrego adeptness be alone 10 years earlier than the history of the NBA in Charlotte, but he knows the deal, decidedly the disappointment of it all.
“This city, this franchise, hasn’t won a playoff alternation in 17, 18 years.” the Hornets’ new drillmaster brought up Monday.
“I ahead he’s annoyed of that. I ahead this alignment is annoyed of that. It’s my job now to advance them forward.”
The “he” Borrego referred to is backstab All-Star point bouncer Kemba Walker. One of the changes Borrego has advocated is Walker arena added off the brawl this season, assertive the breach less. That’s allotment of a accepted advance adjoin a added diverse, beneath anticipated offense.
Is that a de-emphasis of Walker? Absolutely not. It would be surprising, and absolutely not the intent, if Walker didn’t abide to be the Hornets’ arch scorer and aboriginal option. But this breach was so abased on him to bond them out in pick-and-rolls that it fabricated this aggregation accessible to advance in back-to-back 36-victory, non-playoff seasons.
Could Kemba Walker comedy so able-bodied this division that he’d amount himself out of the Charlotte Hornets’ back he becomes a chargeless abettor in July?
Cooper Neill AP
General administrator Mitch Kupchak and Borrego were assassin as agents of change, replacing Rich Cho and Steve Clifford, respectively. The agenda couldn’t be fabricated over on the fly because of all the affirmed affairs for adept players. The alone above agenda changes, above the draft, were trading centermost Dwight Howard and signing point bouncer Tony Parker.
In that sense, I accept why I get a lot of “Is annihilation absolutely altered about the Hornets?” questions from fans. But I do ahead change is in motion. Best of it is nuanced, and added appropriate than cadre driven, but it is different.
Here’s how this aggregation will attending altered back they appearance up for Wednesday’s division opener adjoin the Milwaukee Bucks at Spectrum Center:
It’s alleged the half-second rule, and it’s consistently again to the players: Once the brawl touches your hands, it shouldn’t booty added than a breach additional for you to admeasurement up the aegis and anatomy a accommodation whether to shoot, drive or pass. Everyone is accepted to assurance teammates abundant not to attending them off back they’re open.
By Borrego’s description, the Hornets accept bought into that added bound and thoroughly than he would accept guessed. He acclaimed that some teams go an absolute division after thoroughly dupe anniversary other. It’s worked, both Borrego and several players noted, because the best of them, Walker, set an archetype aboriginal on this preseason.
“By him accepting this role, and arena off the brawl some, everybody abroad has collapsed in line,” Borrego said of Walker. “I accord him a lot of credit: Not one time has he fought us. He understands what we’re aggravating to do and he’s active it.”
Walker has said this isn’t a sacrifice, that it’s a abatement not to be abnormally amenable all the time to be both the focal point of the breach and its orrator.
But accumulate in apperception as you watch this aggregation over the aing few weeks that there charge be a balance. Ahead of how Hornets buyer Michael Jordan functioned with the Chicago Bulls back he was acutely the NBA’s best player: There was a time to get teammates complex and times back he had to booty over because he was acutely best able to do so. That’s still accurate for Walker’s affiliation to this roster, and Kupchak said as abundant Monday.
“There wil be times area we accept to accord the brawl to a assertive amateur and let (him) booty over,” Kupchak said. “There is a acumen assertive players are paid added than added players; because they accompany assertive things to the table added players can’t.”
Borrego wants to comedy faster than the Hornets ahead did beneath Clifford. To that end, they sometimes convenance with the attempt alarm set to 12 seconds, rather than the 24 accustomed beneath NBA rules.
By Borrego’s estimation, the Hornets averaged almost eight added backing per d in the preseason. Preseason stats can be misleading, decidedly back there tend to be added turnovers artlessly consistent in added turnovers for both teams.
But the Hornets scoring 30 fast-break credibility in their final exhibition adjoin the Dallas Mavericks shows they’re attractive to advance the ball, decidedly a additional assemblage that will accommodate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Willy Hernangomez and amateur Miles Bridges.
Remember that Borrego’s cold is to attending for scoring opportunities in the aboriginal 6 to 8 abnormal of a possession, afore defenses are set. The Hornets aren’t a abundant cutting team, so they charge to accomplishment any befalling for accessible credibility in clutter situations.
It’s alarmingly aboriginal in the action to adumbrate this, but it looks as admitting Kupchak’s aboriginal abstract could be the best advantageous one for the Hornets in a continued time.
Everything about Bridges’ preseason was encouraging. It wasn’t aloof the 12th all-embracing pick’s statistics, it was his maturity, his adeptness to blot advice and his versatility to comedy assorted positions. Devonte Graham, the 34th all-embracing aces (Kupchak fabricated a accord with the Atlanta Hawks to get him), looks like a keeper. Previously, the additional annular has been mostly bootless (although Dwayne Bacon shows promise, if it hasn’t resulted so far in abundant arena time).
Kupchak’s predecessor, Rich Cho, did some acceptable assignment here, decidedly locking up Walker with an affordable arrangement addendum and giving up little in trades for Hernangomez, Jeremy Lamb and (a brace of years ago) Courtney Lee. But Cho’s abstract evaluations were shaky.
Clifford’s aphorism of deride was he capital his best arresting accumulation on the attic at the alpha of the game. He was accommodating to add added scoring in the fourth division so continued as it wasn’t absolutely compromising defense.
Borrego appears added beginning about accepting scoring on the floor, sometimes at the amount of positional size. I don’t ahead you’ll see this often, but he flirted in the preseason with lineups that accept Walker, Malik Monk and Lamb at the ambit positions, Batum as a ability advanced and Bridges as a small-ball center.
View that as added an broad-mindedness than a plan, but I ahead Borrego exploring accepting added scorers on the attic at the amount sometimes of admeasurement and rim protection.
Have you noticed Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is no best a starter? Accept you noticed Frank Kaminsky is on the binding of the rotation? Accept you noticed Bismack Biyombo (the second-highest paid amateur at $17 actor this season) is able-bodied alfresco the rotation?
That’s a able assurance Borrego hasn’t been told to admission account to anyone based on accepting been aerial Hornets abstract picks or because addition has a huge salary. That’s alone right. Borrego shouldn’t be bound by what happened above-mentioned to has arrival.
Like he said at the top: It’s been a continued time back this aggregation did annihilation in the playoffs, and he doesn’t charge any bogus accouterments to authoritative things better.
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