Shootaround: vs. Clippers
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from Wednesday’s shootaround in the New Orleans Arena, as the Hornets (25-46) prepared to try to extend their winning streak to four, against the Clippers (48-23):
• There’s a decent chance the Hornets could have their regular starting backcourt back in place Wednesday, after Eric Gordon and Greivis Vasquez missed Monday’s victory vs. Denver due to injuries. Hornets head coach Monty Williams: “Greivis went through shootaround this morning, so we’ll see how he feels for the game. He’s going to go through some contact stuff now (during shootaround). But Eric looked good today. He’s got some soreness, but it sounds like he’s going to play. We’ll just wait until game time for Greivis.”
• As much as it might make for an interesting storyline or good copy, Williams never puts extra stock into any particular game, regardless of the opponent. He wants to treat every game exactly the same – whether it’s against a team with a 15-game winning streak, or vs. a foe with a losing record. “You look at that game like it’s the last game of your life, and you prepare the same way,” he said. “That’s just how I coach. I try to get that across to our players. The most important thing tonight is the first quarter. Every team in the NBA is capable of kicking your butt. That’s just the way I’ve been taught and trained since I’ve been in the league.”
• Williams on the Clippers: ““They’re a really good team. They have the best point guard in the league, guys who can shoot the ball, they’re really good in transition. We’ve just got to make sure we take care of the ball and keep the paint tight. We’ve got to contest threes. In Game 1, Caron (Butler) had nine threes. A lot of those threes were tough shots, but between Caron, (Jamal) Crawford, (Matt) Barnes, Willie Green and (Chauncey) Billups, they have a number of guys who can knock down shots.”
• The Clippers did not hold shootaround, which is NBA convention when playing the second game of a back-to-back. Los Angeles probably got even less sleep than normal, because their game against Dallas did not end until around midnight Central. The circumstances were the result of a double whammy: Clippers-Mavericks was the second game of TNT’s doubleheader, plus the game went into overtime.