Shootaround: vs. Bucks

By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Updates from Monday morning’s shootaround in the New Orleans Arena:

• One staple of the first two weeks of the regular season was Al-Farouq Aminu racing ahead of everyone on a fast break, then collecting a Greivis Vasquez alley oop for a dunk or easy layup. Those kinds of Aminu plays have dried up during this recent stretch, something Hornets head coach Monty Williams attributes to his team’s drop-off in defensive performance. “A lot of what was happening with Chief was off of (defensive) stops,” said Williams, calling Aminu by his nickname. “When you don’t get stops, you can’t get out in transition, run and attack the rim. We’ve given up so many three-point baskets, that it’s hard to get out in transition. I think he does a decent job of trying (to attack the rim) in our halfcourt sets, but teams are playing him for that. So he’s got to look to find holes in the defense and just play.”

• Williams on the development of Xavier Henry, who has been inconsistent and in and out of the mix lately: “He’s at the point in his career where he knows he has to show that he’s a pro. I try to tell guys that you’re a pro when you can rely on something every night, no matter the situation. That’s something X has to do on a consistent basis – give us one thing he can do every night, whether it’s shooting the ball, rebounding. That’s what pros do. They have something they can give their team every single night.” Williams said he believes Henry’s biggest strength is scoring ability and knack for drawing fouls to earn free throws.

• The Hornets again will have 11 players available vs. Milwaukee (8-7), with Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon sidelined. “Our guys have their normal bumps and bruises,” Williams said of the remainder of the roster. “But we had a really good practice yesterday and nobody came out of it gimpy. So we’re OK.”