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2015 Charlotte Hornets Training Camp


After the first media session Clifford sat down with the Hornets Matt and Matt:

- First thing Clifford says, unsolicited and interrupting the lead-in. “Have you guys interviewed Frank yet? He’s the guy you want to talk to. He’s hilarious. He’s a personality plus and you could talk to him for 90 minutes.”

- When asked about Frank as a player: Clifford said size, versatility, skill, high BB IQ. More than anything his competitiveness and toughness. Watched games of his and he carried his team in big games. Game on the line he wanted the ball and delivered. When he gets stronger going to be a terrific player.

- His response about new roster additions: More size, versatility, shooting, more play-makers. Of the 5 best 3pt shooting teams last year, 4 made the conference finals + Clippers. All 5 were top 10 all-time 3p% teams. Over summer the organization broke down league statistics and 3pt shooting was most important factor towards winning. Still need balance play, though.

- When asked why shooting is getting so much better league-wide: There’s more skill particularly at the 4 spot. The other factor, besides Atlanta, the best teams had a central figure like Steph who could make plays and shots. Chris Paul was the creator in LAC. Houston had 6 guys shooting over NBA 3pt average and Harden was the leading assist guy for 4 of them. Atlanta had Korver and Milsap plus a lot of shooting from bench.

- Clifford was then asked if this roster is modeled like Atlanta: It still comes down to playing to strengths of our best players. What we have that most other teams don’t is post play and that’s Al. Ball movement in the NBA is not just passing but making the defense collapse to the ball. Cited drive and kicks also.

- Asked about what takes longer to implement in offseason: Clifford says offense. Defense is hard and fast rules. Offense is about chemistry developed over time. But some of the best teams have also proven chemistry doesn’t have to take all year. Cited Cleveland. Our approach needs to find “The Hornet Way” of doing everything. Said he invites player input.

- On what to expect from Al: He’s right where he needs to be. In good shape, lost considerable weight. He’s ready for the start of training camp

- Response to which 2 other players not already mentioned will have the biggest impact: Team added a lot of guys who are talented. Nic is ready for the next step and will get the ball more and has the talent to be an all-star. Lin will get the opportunity to show people he’s worthy of being a starter. Kemba, Mike, and Cody are ready to make the next step.

- Is this your best roster? Without hesitating “yes”. Really liked the guys from voluntary workouts. Said good teams are smart, resilient, work hard, have togetherness, and high team BB IQ. He said he’d be disappointed if this these weren’t strengths for the team.


  • 85 Comments

    Out of the gate Clifford said:

     

    - Kemba, Batum, MKG, and Al will start. PF spot open

    - most talented and versatile team in 3 years

    - rotation minutes will be competitive.

    - said Marvin has worked hard and ready for a good year

    - Kaminsky is a lot better than realized. Needs to work on physical aspect of NBA

    - Batum will be a primary option

    - says wants to play 4 out as much as we can.

    Photo
    Ashevillelin
    Sep 25 2015 02:54 PM

    Al says he's never been so excited coming into training camp. Loves the depth, the added shooters that compliment him. Lost the full 25 pounds he set out to.

    After the first media session Clifford sat down with the Hornets Matt and Matt:

     

    - First thing Clifford says, unsolicited and interrupting the lead-in. “Have you guys interviewed Frank yet? He’s the guy you want to talk to. He’s hilarious. He’s a personality plus and you could talk to him for 90 minutes.”

     

    - When asked about Frank as a player: Clifford said size, versatility, skill, high BB IQ. More than anything his competitiveness and toughness. Watched games of his and he carried his team in big games. Game on the line he wanted the ball and delivered. When he gets stronger going to be a terrific player.

     

    - His response about new roster additions: More size, versatility, shooting, more play-makers. Of the 5 best 3pt  shooting teams last year, 4 made the conference finals + Clippers. All 5 were top 10 all-time 3p% teams. Over summer the organization broke down league statistics and 3pt shooting was most important factor towards winning. Still need balance play, though.

     

    - When asked why shooting is getting so much better league-wide: There’s more skill particularly at the 4 spot. The other factor, besides Atlanta, the best teams had a central figure like Steph who could make plays and shots. Chris Paul was the creator in LAC. Houston had 6 guys shooting over NBA 3pt average and Harden was the leading assist guy for 4 of them. Atlanta had Korver and Milsap plus a lot of shooting from bench.

     

    - Clifford was then asked if this roster is modeled like Atlanta: It still comes down to playing to strengths of our best players. What we have that most other teams don’t is post play and that’s Al. Ball movement in the NBA is not just passing but making the defense collapse to the ball. Cited drive and kicks also.

     

    - Asked about what takes longer to implement in offseason: Clifford says offense. Defense is hard and fast rules. Offense is about chemistry developed over time. But some of the best teams have also proven chemistry doesn’t have to take all year. Cited Cleveland. Our approach needs to find “The Hornet Way” of doing everything. Said he invites player input.

     

    - On what to expect from Al: He’s right where he needs to be. In good shape, lost considerable weight. He’s ready for the start of training camp

     

    - Response to which 2 other players not already mentioned will have the biggest impact: Team added a lot of guys who are talented. Nic is ready for the next step and will get the ball more and has the talent to be an all-star. Lin will get the opportunity to show people he’s worthy of being a starter. Kemba, Mike, and Cody are ready to make the next step.

     

    - Is this your best roster? Without hesitating “yes”. Really liked the guys from voluntary workouts. Said good teams are smart, resilient, work hard, have togetherness, and high team BB IQ. He said he’d be disappointed if this these weren’t strengths for the team.

     

     

    - Response to which 2 other players not already mentioned will have the biggest impact: Team added a lot of guys who are talented. Nic is ready for the next step and will get the ball more and has the talent to be an all-star. Lin will get the opportunity to show people he’s worthy of being a starter. Kemba, Mike, and Cody are ready to make the next step.

     

     

     

    This is the sentence that excites me most from media day.

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    InProblematique
    Sep 25 2015 08:44 PM

    Al really is looking good. That weight loss is super notable.

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    CarolinaBlue23
    Sep 25 2015 11:48 PM

    With the reports that Big AL, Marvin, & P.J. Hairston having lost weight. Hopefully this season's team will play with a better tempo & lead to easier scoring opportunities. 

    normally i am more pessimistic about each bobcat/hornet season than most on here. however, this year i really have a good feeling about this squad. i think the hornets have a legit shot at a 4 seed if all goes well. i am much more enthusiastic about a 4 seed than squeaking by with an 8 seed. not sure why, just really like this team defensively and with added offensive range, i could see a very successful season.

    I haven't seen anywhere that Clifford was asked specifically about MKG shooting threes. Yet he talked about playing 4 out as much as possible and the correlation between 3's and winning. So it seems to be the case, or at least implied.

    I'm excited about most things heading into this season. However, I've been excited about PJ a few times only to be disappointed. Maybe his weight loss will help. Maybe it shows discipline that he hasn't had so far. Maybe that means we can expect good things from him this season. Maybe he'll play better than he did last year. Maybe he'll play better than he did in summer league. But then again, maybe I'll be disappointed by him again this season. I guess we'll see. Hopefully I'll not be disappointed.
    I believe we are about an hour away from the first training camp practice!
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    Scottley Crue
    Sep 26 2015 11:39 AM

    I haven't seen anywhere that Clifford was asked specifically about MKG shooting threes. Yet he talked about playing 4 out as much as possible and the correlation between 3's and winning. So it seems to be the case, or at least implied.


    Cliff definitely saw the connection between 3s and winning, I believe. He wanted to do that last year. I remember him talking in at least one post-game presser about wanting to shoot 30 3s a game. He simply didn't have a roster to do that. He does now, though. I'm excited to see what happens.

    So, how does everyone feel knowing that their beloved Al takes his responsibility to the team so seriously that he was eating popeye's chicken after every game when he was already overweight and struggling and our season was falling apart? He even continued to do so despite Kemba and likely other teammates pleading with him to stop eating like that.

    Glass half full here. I'm glad that he has made the change now. Last season is in the past. I'm excited about this season. So, how do I feel? I'm glad he's taken the necessary step to successfully move forward!

    This is the sentence that excites me most from media day.

     

    Funny how he was asked about 2 players and mentioned 5 players.  These five would make a pretty good lineup!

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    Ashevillelin
    Sep 26 2015 03:30 PM

    http://www.nba.com/h...ning-camp-day-1

     

    Videos and photos from first practice are out. Clifford invited Thibs to camp for a couple of days to get his feedback...

    Clifford has yet to name the starting 4 and given the talk about shooting it's likely the team wants 1 more shooter on the floor. There are 3 options at PF: Cody with a shiny new jumper, Frank, and Marvin. Here's the case for Marvin as the starting PF. He's not the one I think necessarily should start but if he does this is why.

     

    In 2014-15 there were 64 players classified as forwards who shot at least 20 corner 3's from each side of the court. Of those 64, Marvin had the 3rd best corner 3 percentage at 47.8% - crazy but true. Below is a scatter plot of those 64 players. I highlighted Marvin along with players from the Final 4 + Houston: Clips, Atlanta, Cavs, Rockets, and Golden State. Notice how disproportionately few shots Marvin took compared to the more analytically savvy teams - he took 69 corner shots but his average would predict closer to 130-150. Even a minute differential cannot explain this away:

     

    m1lXe.jpg

     

     

    The next chart is from 24ft and under - so basically corner shots and toes near the line elsewhere. This is a drastic difference from his 36% average overall. Without digging deeper it's possible Marvin was creating space by stepping back in the absence of good offensive ball movement creating open looks. The top threes are also easier to defend with help, or it could be a disconnect between execution, coaching, and the analytics department.

     

    CmhR4.jpg

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    Ashevillelin
    Sep 26 2015 08:23 PM

    If they don't think Frank is ready yet, then there could be a case to start Marvin: Even though Cody's is the better player overall, Marvin might be the slightly better fit with the starting unit and Cody might be the substantially better fit with the second unit. With Al, Kemba and MKG on the floor together, a three-point shooting four seems to make the most sense. McRoberts two years ago and Marvin last year achieved the best plus/minus results in five-man lineups with the three of them (according to basketball reference). Cody could then work to get some chemistry running the pick and roll with Lin and help to bolster the second unit's defense. 

     

    Like Buckets, I'm not necessarily advocating this, just saying there is a case that can be made for it. Also, I don't think Marvin should necessarily get more minutes than Cody. Rather, I think that it makes sense to give him his minutes on the floor when Al and Kemba are both on it. Since they both start, it might be simplest just to start Marvin too.

     

    But ultimately, assuming Frank can carry the weight defensively, I think he'll be the best fit with the starting unit. Just not sure he's ready yet.

     

    Really looking forward to see the team play some games in the preseason.

    Even if Marvin doesn't start the goal should be getting him closer to the upper right box with Harrison Barnes,Carroll, and Ariza. Part of the problem for him was being the best shooter on the floor.

    With Kaminsky, Hawes, and Batum initiating plays on the top and also good shooters, Marvin should feast in the corners where help defense is not easy.
    That makes some sense. I'm not big on Marvin, but maybe this team make up will help his game. You could put that five on the floor, then bring in Lin, Lamb, Zeller, and Kaminsky off the bench, and it could be pretty good. Seems like they could kick it up a gear. I didn't mention Hawes because I really don't know anything about him yet. Also, like Ashvillian mentioned, I don't care who starts, I care more that people are getting minutes. Will probably be better for Frank to come off the bench and face more second team guys, then stay in against the starters for a few minutes as well.

    It seems to me it makes more sense to start Hawes instead of Marv, with a slimmed down Al.  Better shooting, better shot blocking, more upside, more size, better passing. 

    Photo
    Ashevillelin
    Sep 28 2015 04:35 PM

    It seems to me it makes more sense to start Hawes instead of Marv, with a slimmed down Al.  Better shooting, better shot blocking, more upside, more size, better passing. 

    Either of them would struggle guarding a highly mobile four.

    Either of them would struggle guarding a highly mobile four.

    When the opponents' four is highly mobile and good, they could either start another guy depending on matchups or sub quickly when it doesn't work.  They could even sub a small and have MKG guard the four. 

     

    OTOH, Cody or Frank will be ready to take over that spot sooner or later anyways. 

    I honestly see no way possible that Marvin Williams starts.
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    Founding Hornet
    Sep 28 2015 08:02 PM
    Cody starts unless he is traded.......:-)

            Hans getting love from Clifford and Al , Talking about his energy ,effort, and will be getting more reps than he has had the last few seasons.  Williams getting love for being in great shape.  '.  It sounds like this team is a legit  12 deep. With Clifford I am afraid the TANK, might not even make the rotation early in the season. He might have to spend a lot of his playing time in the D league. I really hope he at least makes the rotation.





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