Big Easy Buzz Blog - February 16, 2010

Bower at midseason on 2009 draft class

Tuesday, February 16, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer,
Emptying out the notebook with a few of Hornets head coach Jeff Bower’s recent comments about the state of the team at the All-Star break:

On Darren Collison:
“I think he’s very good. Obviously when you look at his numbers alone (he’s been effective), but there’s more to it. There are other things that he’s demonstrated. Running the team, he’s been very impressive.
“We don’t treat him as a rookie. We don’t treat him as a point guard filling in. We treat him as the point guard who has responsibility to his teammates and his team. He doesn’t back down from that. That’s a testament to our confidence in him. If we didn’t have that type of confidence in him, we would have a different approach. Maybe a little bit less demanding. But he can handle this.”

On the Hornets’ productive 2009 draft class:
“It’s crucial in the situation we’re in, with Chris Paul’s injury, have someone (Darren Collison) in that position as a quality backup. Marcus (Thornton), you got used to seeing his 16 to 18 points (after he moved into the starting lineup). You saw his energy, and he added a different element to our team. Both of them have had an impact so far. The thing that I think is important is that now they are better prepared for what they’ll face in the last 30 games, because of the experiences that they’ve had. Their production is something that we need.”

On the frequency of Hornets games this season in which one side has not held a lead of 10 points or more:
“I think leads in the NBA are not as big as they’re made out to be. The team you’re playing against has a large impact on that. Teams that can shoot the three-pointer, like Orlando for instance, a lead is very quickly evaporated, if you don’t score and they come down and bang some threes.
“I think if you watch enough games (throughout the NBA), you’ll see eight- and 10-point swings the majority of nights. It’s just that we’re watching (Hornets) games so closely, and it hits so close to home. But we’ve come back from 10-plus down many times. Boston has lost a handful of games after being up 10. You go over the course of the season and you start to see that that 10-point lead is not as sacred as it once was, or (actually) is in perhaps college basketball.”