NBA Summer League: Trail Blazers 81, Hornets 69

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

The fourth quarter continued to be the Hornets’ stumbling block in Las Vegas. After two narrow defeats in which they couldn’t hold on to a late lead, New Orleans (0-3) was within five points of Portland before the Blazers broke it open with a 29-22 edge in the final period.

Without the services of the injured Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton, ballhandling became a glaring issue for a second straight game. The Hornets turned the ball over 23 times, a statistic that is even more troubling when you consider that summer league games are only 40 minutes (instead of 48 in a regulation NBA game). Monty Williams was very direct in his assessment of that aspect of Tuesday's defeat. "Our guard play has been horrible the past two games," Williams said. "I'm not even going to mince words. We just don't have a guard out there who can get us into (our offense) right now."

Another negative development was a first-half injury to Craig Brackins (sprained right ankle). It was too bad Brackins was sidelined for precautionary reasons after playing just 10 minutes, because he was on a roll early, draining all three of his shots from three-point range. He also grabbed three rebounds after he'd been blanked in that category Sunday. Fortunately, the ankle injury was deemed not to be serious. "He probably could have gone back out there," said Williams. "I don't think it's anything to be alarmed about."

Hornets and Jeff Bower part ways

Hornets to immediately start search for new general manager
LAS VEGAS - The New Orleans Hornets announced today that the organization and Jeff Bower have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately. A search for a general manager is already underway.

“We feel it is in the best interest for us and Jeff to part ways at this time.” said Hornets President Hugh Weber. “Our search for a new general manager is already underway. We will target basketball minds that are highly respected in the basketball circles and someone that will help in our pursuit of building a championship team.”

Bower spent 14-plus seasons with the club, serving various scouting, coaching and general manager positions. He served as general manager from 2001-2003 and was re-appointed general manager at the start of the 2005-06 season. Bower took over the head coaching role this past season on November 12 after the Hornets relieved Byron Scott of head coach duties. He guided the Hornets to a 34-39 record (.466) last season.

“I want to thank Jeff for all his service for our organization,” said Hornets Owner George Shinn. “Gary Chouest and I have the necessary resources and will continue to do what it takes this summer to make our team better. Under the new leadership of Monty Williams, our team president Hugh Weber and our new general manager we feel very positive about our future as an organization.”