Shootaround: vs. Nets
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from Tuesday morning’s shootaround in the New Orleans Arena, as the Hornets prepared to host the Brooklyn Nets:
• No injuries to report for the home team. For Brooklyn, starting shooting guard Joe Johnson (sore left heel) is listed as questionable, while reserve wing Jerry Stackhouse (personal) is listed as out.
• One of the marquee matchups of Tuesday’s game takes place in the pivot, where twin brothers Robin Lopez and Brook Lopez will face each other. Robin, on Brook’s recent first-time selection to the All-Star Game: “I’m a little jealous. What NBA player doesn’t want to be an All-Star? (But) I’m happy for him. He deserves it.”
• Hornets head coach Monty Williams noted several times that preparations for the Nets are a bit different than many of the team’s 29 opponents. “You’ve got to play defense sometimes for 18 seconds, because they play late into the clock,” Williams said of the deliberate squad. “They take away your possessions because they are a late-clock team. They play playoff basketball, with a number of guys who can play off the dribble or shoot from distance. So we talk about playing defense for a longer period of time, and you’ve got to make sure you rebound. The Nets have guys like Reggie Evans, Gerald Wallace, who have a nose for the ball, a knack for finding the ball. It’s paramount that you box out and limit them to one possession.”
• Williams again exercised caution in the Hornets not getting overly confident or satisfied with a single victory. On Sunday, they controlled Sacramento 110-95. “I mean, we won one game,” Williams said. “There are certainly a lot of things we can take from that that were good, but at the same time, we’re not going to get crazy after one win. We’re still developing, trying to get guys to understand the kind of discipline and professionalism you need to put a string of games together. Today’s practice was mainly about that. The focus was on discipline and how to approach the game after you have a win.”
• You may have noticed that Ryan Anderson seems to be playing closer to the basket lately. His rebounding numbers have gone up, and he’s also scored on post-ups and layups more often in recent weeks. His explanation: “(Opposing teams are) having smaller guys on me so I have a little bit of an advantage down low getting offensive rebounds. I can be down in the paint a little bit more rather than spread (out on the perimeter shooting three-pointers).”