Scott: Okafor more likely to play vs. Spurs than Diogu

Monday, October 26, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

The status of Hornets center Emeka Okafor remains uncertain for Wednesday’s opener at San Antonio, but the sixth-year pro practiced for a second straight day at the Alario Center.

“Hopefully he can continue to progress at this pace,” Byron Scott said of Okafor’s health. “He did more today than he did (in Sunday’s practice), so hopefully he’ll feel pretty good (by Wednesday).”

Okafor will be re-evaluated after Tuesday’s practice, which will be followed by the team flight to San Antonio.

Scott said he is more optimistic about Okafor’s chances of playing at San Antonio than of Ike Diogu’s likelihood to make his Hornets debut in that game. If Okafor is available to play, Scott will likely wait until Wednesday to decide whether Okafor will start or come off the bench against the Spurs.

Other notes from today’s practice:

• Without revealing any specifics, Scott said: “I’ve got a pretty good idea of what the playing rotation will be.” The sixth-year coach said he has two Hornets players in mind who will be inactive at San Antonio, but he’s unsure of the third inactive. With 15 players on the roster, Scott will have to choose three Hornets to sit out each game, since NBA teams can only dress 12 players.

• Scott listed his biggest concern after preseason games as interior defense. “We gave up way too many paint scores (in preseason),” Scott said. Scott said the biggest pleasant surprise was the play of backup guard Bobby Brown.

• On rookies Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton, this was Scott’s overview of their progress: “Both of them are still learning. Both of them have a bright future. But right now I can’t sit here and say that one or both or neither are in the rotation. They are still working hard. They’re still rookies. It’s going to take them some time. But I’m very pleased with their progress throughout the preseason and going into the season.”