Charlotte Hornets Rumors
“This is what I would say about Patrick,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said when Charlotte visited in late January. “Yao Ming’s best years were working with Patrick. Dwight Howard, by far, his best years were working with Patrick. And Al Jefferson, who has had a great career, best years were working with Patrick. I think that if I was a young player and I wanted somebody to work with me, it would be Patrick. With that being said, he is a lot more than a big man coach. He’s a good coach.[Point guard] Kemba [Walker] goes to Patrick a lot.”
With J.R. Smith back in the starting lineup, however, Lue has reverted to using Irving on opposing point guards. The results haven’t been pretty. Kemba Walker and Wall combined for 65 points and shot 77 percent in this back-to-back. Irving countered with 49 points.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Clifford said. “That’s it. Period. (We struggled with) rotations, mistakes and things that you have to be able to do to beat a team like that. The effort was there, obviously, we had plays we had to make there at the end (and) we didn’t make them. They did. “At the end of the day, to win these games, again, we can fix it (in practice). We’ve got to be better defensively. We’ve got to be smarter. We’ve got to be smarter with the basic stuff, smarter, all the time.”
LeBron James said he suffered a scratched cornea in his right eye in Friday’s 112-105 win over Charlotte after being examined by a Hornets team physician. James, who scored 32 points in 40 minutes, could not keep his right eye open during his postgame interview session and said his vision was blurry. He was poked in the eye by Jeremy Lamb on his way to a layup with 31.2 seconds left in the third quarter.
Van Gundy has always felt that Ewing has the necessary traits to be a NBA head coach because of his eagerness to work with players of all sizes and not just centers. “Look, he’s a guy who spent a lot of time really working at it,’’ said Van Gundy, who worked with Ewing when the Magic reached the 2009 NBA Finals and the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals. “Didn’t want to just be a big-man guy or sort of the NBA guy who is just trying to get into the heads of guys.’’