Shootaround: vs. Spurs

By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Updates from Monday morning’s shootaround in the New Orleans Arena prior to the Spurs-Hornets Southwest Division game:

• The Hornets made it official that they are signing backup point guard Donald Sloan to a 10-day contract. Sloan impressed during his brief stint with New Orleans in 2011-12, but was waived partly due to a roster crunch when then-starter Jarrett Jack returned from injury. Monty Williams on the Sloan signing: “We need some coverage at that position. I’m playing Greivis (Vasquez) a lot of minutes, sometimes the whole second half. That’s not something we want to do all year. So we’re going to take a look at a few guys and see if anybody sticks. We’re always trying to add guys to help our program. (Sloan) was here last year, so he has an idea of what we expect. He’s a tough kid. What I liked about him last year was his ability to defend and attack the basket. He wasn’t afraid of anyone or big moments. So we’ll see how it goes. (Jarrett) Jack was out last year, and (Sloan) was pretty good for us. When Jack came back, that was a tough cut, because we liked him a lot. He worked his butt off. We’d like it to go well this time.”

• If the Hornets are to post their first win over the Spurs in three tries this season, it likely will take a team-wide effort similar to Saturday’s OT triumph in Dallas. Robin Lopez: “It was nice to have someone (Eric Gordon) to close out the game. It kind of makes you think what if? But more importantly, we just competed throughout the second half and overtime. We made our presence known. I think everybody was on the same page. We had Jason (Smith) out there, who was really hustling and playing hard. Ryan (Anderson) was working hard on Dirk (Nowitzki) and made some shots, too. Greivis was playing out of his mind. There were a lot of different factors, not just Eric.”

• Williams on the Spurs: ““You can’t let the Spurs’ Big Three turn into the Big Three-plus, because you tend to forget about Gary Neal, (Matt) Bonner, (Tiago) Splitter, Danny Green. They have backup point guard play. They’re a well-rounded team in every aspect and they defend. You can’t make mistakes against them, because they’ll capitalize. They’ve been in every single situation, so you’re not going to fool them.”

• Williams on fatigue for Anthony Davis, who like all first-year NBA pros never had to play more than 40-ish games in a college season: “All the rookies around the league who are playing big minutes are kind of going through the same thing right now. He’s no different. He’s 19 years old. He’s tired. He’s probably hitting the snooze button every chance he gets. He’ll get out of it, because he works at it. He was in the gym already before I even walked in yesterday, and already in a big-time sweat. Guys who work that hard typically come out of it faster.”

• Vasquez, relating to the media one pregame exchange that brings him additional motivation: “Our team security (director) Randy (Greenup) texts me before games to tell me what the opposing point guard is going to do to me. I want to prove myself. I just love the game. At this point, I love to compete against the best. That’s why when I go against all the point guards in the West, or any point guard in the NBA, I want to showcase my game. I know I’m an underdog. People don’t really know who I am. That’s part of being in the league. You’ve got to make a name for yourself and start letting people know who you are. I’m doing that right now. I’m not going to change anything. I believe I have so much room to get better. I’m not anywhere near where I’m capable of being eventually.”