Steve Clifford Rumors
“When I first got in the league (as an advance scout for the New York Knicks in 2000), everybody tried to play 82 games,” Clifford said. “(Resting players) definitely works for some teams. I understand, but I know, talking to Michael and Patrick, they don’t understand it. I’ve talked to trainers in this league who say rest is critical. I’ve heard other trainers who say you should train in the summer in a way to prepare yourself to play 82 times a year.”
At the advice of sleep experts, Hornets coach Steve Clifford is doing what he can to reduce the number of late-night flights for his team. The current three-game West Coast trip is a good example: The Hornets left for Portland, Ore., on Sunday for a Tuesday night game against the Trail Blazers. The intent was to add a day to help the players adjust to being three time zones away from Charlotte. Then, the Hornets stayed in the Bay Area Wednesday night, rather than immediately fly to Salt Lake City for Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz.
But the players see the reasoning in this, even an 11-season veteran like Williams, who is used to being up most of the night on in-season flights. “It’s everything to get a good night’s rest,” Williams said. “Cliff is a big proponent of keeping guys rested. We might not practice as much as some teams to save our bodies” for games. “There is a huge difference between going to bed at 12 (midnight) and 4 in the morning. There are four or five us who stay up on a plane ride no matter how late it is. You might get into a city at 3 a.m., and then your body doesn’t really shut down until 5 a.m. “It’s tough when you have to play the next night.”