Shootaround: vs. Bobcats
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from Tuesday morning’s shootaround in the New Orleans Arena:
• The Hornets are looking for significantly better play from their starting group after it struggled mightily Sunday vs. Orlando’s first string. Monty Williams said he will use the same starting five vs. Charlotte, a group that includes guards Greivis Vasquez and Austin Rivers, forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Anthony Davis, and center Robin Lopez.
• Jason Smith, who took a hard fall onto his back during Sunday’s preseason opener, will be held out of tonight’s game. Smith and Eric Gordon (knee) are the only members of the roster who will not be available against the Bobcats, meaning that Williams will have 14 players at his disposal.
• Asked about what potential changes he may make tonight to his rotation or distribution of playing time, Williams said: “We’ll see.” Specifically on the backup big man role – Lance Thomas played 15 minutes, while Hakim Warrick picked up a DNP – Williams added, “Lance is a guy we really like in that fifth big spot, because he knows our system. One thing I don’t want to do with a guy like Hakim is throw him out there in late-game situations. That’s disrespectful to a (veteran) like that. And yet I’ll try to find spots where I can get guys in there. Darius (Miller) is going to play a bit more at the backup two or three spot. Brian Roberts, we may try to get him off the ball with Greivis a little bit.”
• Williams on Aminu: “I’d like to see him run the floor, make better decisions on when to pass. It’s a cliché, but he really has to let the game come to him. Sometimes he gets a bit antsy. I thought the second time he came in the game Sunday he played better, because he was defensive-oriented. I just want him to be solid. I don’t need him to change the game. I just want him to be solid.”