Steve Clifford Rumors
There is no debate that post-ups make up a shrinking portion of the scoring pie, though there is some debate about why that is. Only eight teams this season finished even 10 percent of their possessions2 with a post-up, per Synergy Sports. A decade ago, 22 teams hit that mark, and every team ended at least 7.5 percent of its trips with some kind of post-up. One-third of teams finished with a lower post-up share than that this season. Just about everyone agrees that fewer players are entering the league with any clue of how to operate with their back to the basket. “There are maybe two handfuls of guys who can post up anymore,” Kidd says. Players who don’t learn post skills at a lower level won’t get the leeway or practice time to develop them in the NBA, coaches say. “It’s probably the hardest part of offense to get good at,” says Steve Clifford, the Hornets coach.
Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford’s salary for the 2015-16 season became guaranteed when the then-Bobcats qualified for the playoffs a year ago. Clifford’s contract, signed in May 2013, was originally portrayed as two seasons guaranteed with the third season a team option, worth $6 million total if he serves all three seasons. However, multiple sources told the Observer this week that Clifford’s contract for next season is already guaranteed because of an incentive clause: If the franchise qualified for the playoffs in either of Clifford’s first two seasons, the third season locked in. Hornets officials declined comment Thursday, abiding by a policy not to discuss employment contracts publicly.
Fan frustration on some Charlotte sports-talk radio programs and Twitter of late has often suggested there should be a coaching change at the end of the season. “It has nothing to do with him,” Walker said of the Hornets sitting 10th in the Eastern Conference, two spots out of the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. “He does a great job, he’s a fantastic coach. He always does his best to give us the right game plan, to try and get wins. “I’m 100 percent behind him. I believe in him.”
Coach Steve Clifford had said before he was as strong an advocate as any Hornets decision-maker for signing Lance Stephenson last July. Wednesday he made sure there was no misconception. “Lance is here because of me. I’m the one that wanted Lance,” Clifford said after not playing him for the second consecutive game. “It’s simply that I can’t find a group that plays well when he’s out there.”