Media day has come and gone for the Hornets. There will be more in-depth stories to come later, but I wanted to share a few quick takeaways from today.
1. Orlando Magic 2.0?
Anyone who has been paying attention to the team's roster moves will have noticed that the team has been all about spreading the floor to give Al Jefferson more space inside to work. The big man mentioned how Coach Steve Clifford wanted them to shoot more threes in practice. It sounds a lot like a team Clifford was an assistant on: the Orlando Magic during their NBA Finals run with Dwight Howard. In case you forgot, that team's offensive identity consisted of Howard in the middle and four shooters surrounding him, making it hard for the defense to double inside.
Marvin Williams also noted that as he reminisced about how his Hawks teams struggled against those Magic squads.
2. Bad Boys, Part II?
There was also a lot of talk about the Hornets defense and just how good it could be this year. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had the bold statement of the day, saying that the Hornets could be like the Detroit Bad Boys, Part II. We'll need to do some further research into this later, but it is nice to see the team aiming high this year, even if the goal is quite lofty.
3. The lineup is beginning to take shape
Starters we knew before today: Kemba, Big Al, Lance Stephenson. Starters we know after today: Marvin Williams.
That means the starting lineup come October 29th (barring any injuries) should be either:
- PG: Kemba Walker; SG: Gerald Henderson; SF: Lance Stephenson; PF: Marvin Williams; C: Al Jefferson.
- PG: Kemba Walker; SG: Lance Stephenson; SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist; PF: Marvin Williams; C: Al Jefferson.
If I had to guess right now, I would say it'll be the second option. But, we still have an entire training camp and preseason to go through. Also of note, Clifford did say he liked the possibility of Lance running with the second unit as a ball handler and creator with Brian Roberts and Gary Neal on the wings.
4. Mark Price could be a miracle worker
Arguably the biggest news for the Hornets this offseason (outside the Lance Stephenson signing) has been the news that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has reworked his jump shot. The transformation has been an incredible one, according to those who have seen it (only those within the Hornets organization).
Clifford has coached 31 years, says he has never seen as drastic a change in shooting mechanics as he has with MKG.— Russell Varner (@rvarner) September 29, 2014
Al Jefferson, who earlier mentioned that he has never shot with his left hand and at this point in his career probably never will, noted that the difference in MKG's jump shot is "night and day" and joked that perhaps Price could help him with his left handed shot.
One final important note on this is something Clifford said during his press conference:
Clifford said many times regarding MKG and his shot: "He can't forget why he's good." #HornetsMediaDay— Bryan Mears (@bryan_mears) September 29, 2014
5. The jerseys look amazing
Remember how amazed you were the first time you saw the photos of the new Hornets' uniforms? Those do not do them justice. The players were all decked out in the white jerseys, and the uniforms looked absolutely stunning. Just wait until you seem them in game action. It's going to be great.
And in case you were wondering, most players said their favorite jersey was either the white or the teal.