Difficult to do worse preseason on the side of North Carolina. The Hornets took a few good volleys for five losses in five games at the finish, the Miles Bridges case drags on, LaMelo Ball saw his ankle turn, and Gordon Hayward has only just returned to play.
In view of Steve Clifford’s first four outings, tonight’s defeat in Philadelphia (99-94) would almost be perceived as positive, as we could expect a new “blowout” on the occasion of Joel’s return to play Embiid.
Watch the glass half full
This is what the “new” Hornets coach is trying to cling to, finding positives while waiting for the first regular season game in San Antonio. The first of them lies in the fact that there is still a week to work.
“I just told the guys, ‘Training ends when we get on the plane to San Antonio'”he launched yesterday. “But we have made good progress over the past four days. Tonight, for 30 minutes, we played by far the best game we have ever played. And we did a lot of good things on both sides of the pitch. So there are things to build, a lot of things to learn.”
Same story for Gordon Hayward, the leader on whom many responsibilities will weigh this season, and who is well aware that his team is not yet ready.
“We still have a lot to integrate, although I thought we played better today. We still have a week to prepare.”dropped the winger, author of 16 points in 24 minutes in Philly.
Leveling up physically
Over this last week, Steve Clifford should press on the need to rev up on the physical level, a point on which Charlotte was a little more solid on Wednesday, in particular by winning the battle on the rebound. Overall, there was energy in the racket as evidenced by the eight blocks in the first half.
“I told the guys, they know it, I know it… One of the big criticisms of us is the physique. Are we gonna do the dirty work? Tonight I reminded them that we were more than capable of doing it. They are tall, strong in front, but our rebound effort was great. We played with our physical dimension, with a lot of guys who participated.mentioned the technician of the Hornets.
For his part, Gordon Hayward recalled that these fights were won at will, and that the players must first have the will to win each duel. On this point, the meeting of the night is indeed encouraging.
“I think a lot of it is a matter of effort. It’s just about being in the right place, doing your job, not necessarily being physical. You can’t be physical if you’re not in the right places and I feel like we’ve improved in that regard over preseason. Tonight we were physical against a physical team. They are great in all areas and we did a good job. »