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September 02, 2014

Hornets rookie Noah Vonleh undergoes surgery

From Charlotte Hornets press release:

Charlotte Hornets forward Noah Vonleh underwent successful surgery today to repair a sports hernia suffered in a recent workout.  The surgery was performed in Charlotte by Dr. B. Todd Henneford.  Vonleh is expected to miss approximately 6-8 weeks.

The ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Vonleh was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Third Team All-Big Ten in 2013-14 at Indiana University after averaging 11.3 points, a Big Ten-high 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game. 

Posted by Observer staff on September 2, 2014 at 05:39 PM | Permalink


The jinx continues...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 2, 2014 8:29:16 PM

Personally was not counting on a kid that just turned to 19 to make much of an impact on this team. Would like them to pick up some additional depth just in case.

Posted by: Alan | Sep 2, 2014 9:32:51 PM

"Personally was not counting on a kid that just turned to 19 to make much of an impact on this team."

When were you expecting him to pitch in and help out?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 3, 2014 9:32:24 AM

This coach likes vets. Vonleh is not only a rookie, but a young rookie. Might be youngest in the NBA. Not sure. Could possibly start contributing next year. Not many 19 year olds get big minutes on playoff teams.

Did you expect him to play over Zeller and Williams at the 4?

Posted by: Alan | Sep 3, 2014 9:50:53 AM

"Did you expect him to play over Zeller and Williams at the 4?"

Nope. Expect that they both ride the bench.

Now which of the two would/will get more of the leftovers in terms of minutes at the 4 position I really don't know, what do you think?

48 minutes available at the 4 spot, how do you think Coach will split them between Williams, Zeller and Vonleh? (assumes all 3 are healthy)


"This coach likes vets. Vonleh is not only a rookie, but a young rookie. Might be youngest in the NBA."

True dat!

Things is, since it's (i) clear that our Coach prefers seasoned players (rookie or otherwise), and (ii) the Boobs have an abysmal track record of "developing" talent why do we keep blowing draft picks on "projects" who "might be the youngest in the league"? (or should I say they have an extraordinary track record of destroying talent)

Maybe we oughta try drafting a kid who has some experience under his belt and is physically and mentally mature, and has solid fundamental basketball skills already in place? Maybe a guy who can catch, dribble, pass, and shoot?

Like say a Damian Lilliard, who turned 22 only 16 days after Portland drafted him.....yeah, a guy like that.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 3, 2014 10:57:11 AM

Great point about Lilliard . And enough of the nonsense that other teams missed out on Lilliard too or he was way down on draft boards , or that we had a point gd already ( Kemba is and always will be a sg ) or the usual bs to excuse the missing out on nba ready soon to be great players .

Ot. Make a play for Blatche . He's still out there and would be a good back up center . A good one is going to cost so this may impact another player or so but make it happen .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 3, 2014 11:45:54 AM

Don't really care how they split the minutes. I will defer to Clifford. He has earned it after last year.

There was not a player at 9 that would have started for this team or even been a primary back-up on the current roster. That is a good sign because that certainly would not have been the case in previous years.

Posted by: Alan | Sep 3, 2014 2:15:56 PM

"Don't really care how they split the minutes. I will defer to Clifford. He has earned it after last year."

If you were in charge how would you split the minutes?

"There was not a player at 9 that would have started for this team or even been a primary back-up on the current roster."

That's a pretty broad statement. Vonleh included?

Do we have any open roster spots left?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 3, 2014 3:43:02 PM

Wow. Lot's of questions. Must be a real super fan. Nice to see.

If I was in charge, based on what I saw last year of both players, I would start Williams and Zeller would play about 20 plus minutes. Which is why Clifford should make the call because I have no idea if Zeller has improved over last year.

I believe they have one roster spot left.

There was not a player at 9 that would start for this team. The only player that I think could have played decent minutes would have been McDermott. He would have been my choice, but also would have competed with Taylor. No problem with Vonleh there.

Do you think there as a player drafted 9 or later that would have played significant minutes this year? Just did not see it.

Posted by: Alan | Sep 3, 2014 5:31:50 PM

Yeah, I do have lots of questions.

If Williams starts and Zeller gets 20 that leaves about 0 for Vonleh. I'm just perplexed by this Vonleh pick, can't seem to find any explanation for it that seems rational (other than as an insurance policy because of doubts about Zeller, but the slurpers are having none of that!).

Yes, I think TJ Warren would easily beat out either of the small forwards currently on our roster. I'm surprised the Boobs haven't re-signed CDR, Coach Cliff clearly thought he was our best option there and he'd come cheap...

...whoopsy, looks like Clippers snagged him today!


Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 3, 2014 11:15:12 PM

That is a good call on Warren as a pick. Could end up being the better player. But I don't think he would have started. At least not here. And not this year. Defending 3's might be a challenge for him. CDR was good for the team last year but his minutes will go to Taylor. Or Lance or Henderson will play some minutes at the 3.

Posted by: Alan | Sep 4, 2014 1:35:39 AM

What do the Clipppers know ? Last yr , Doc clamored for Reddick and the Dudley . Both are not wanted right now by the Clippers . The only guy who was against bringing in either of them which spelled the end of Bledsoe was the owner , Donald Sterling . I posted that both would not help much and not move the needle for the Clippers , right after the moves . Now the have Cdr who's as usual , fools gold .

Cdr scores well against second units and if not the subject of defenses when he plays w the starters . His defense is not much better than McRoberts . He's a one trick pony in catching and shooting at the arc . When a hand is in his face or played up on , he's below average . He can't finish at the rim in traffic and has zero mid range game . There's an unmitigated reason he's a journeyman . Guys like this look good surrounding Jefferson . They space at the arc and sit n wait for crumbs from Jefferson while he does his thing . This scenario hides Cdr's flaws , massive in nature , on offense . It's the same w most catch n shoot guys ESP the ones that can't break most starting lineups but for some injuries or a weakness in the starters game they're brought in to help out ( Mkg ) . In the end , there's so far you can go w these guys . To the man , they can't play defense well or at all . But this is the strategy now bc of the campaign to dump into Jefferson . It will only take you so far . It got the Cats to the playoffs when half the East was racing to the bottom . It will keep the seats filled and possibly back as a seriously low seed but zero else . Guys can bend the stats to defend how Cdr performed including over others he should not have . But in the end , he will never be the answer . Ask the last 5 or 6 teams that used him only to send him packing . Real teams use guys like this at the end of a pick n roll on one side and swinging it to his side where he's totally open , having fooled or shifted the defense on the pick n roll side , so he can get real open shots . This is the only way to use him , w wide open looks . But Clifford , hasn't the bb iq on offense to develop his offense in any way outside the dump campaign .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 4, 2014 2:24:23 AM

If I was coach I'd start Marvin at the 4 and play him 24-28 minutes per, and play Zeller 20-24 minutes per off the bench. Vonleh just turned 19 and was billed as raw. Vonleh was picked because had the most potential out of any guy left on the board when we picked, and because he has the potential to be a 2 way player one day, a 4 who can space the floor with the 3, be a very good rebounder, guard the perimeter, and protect the rim. He was also picked because there wasn't any players at 9 who made much sense. Warren wouldn't have started over MKG, Warren can't space the floor which is something we need from the 3 position seeing as MKG is part of our future, and Warren doesn't have the potential of Vonleh. Warren also had defensive questions. Mcdermott could have been nice offense off the bench but why draft a guy solely for the purpose of contributing right now? If your a playoff team and your placing your bets on rookies making contributions then your not that good of a playoff team.

You say we don't have a track record of developing players.

We have only had Coach cliff, and his staff for one year now so what other coaches did doesn't have any effect on our current guys. How did we develop our other guys? We through them onto the court and let them play, allowing them to make mistake, learn bad tendencies, with the hope they would adjust and learn through mistakes. Our new coach has a philosophy that you have to make your young players work for everything they get. He seems to be under the impression if you are forced to work hard for something you'll continue to work hard, compared to giving just giving a guy something. Part of his philosophy is you give a guy a limited role that he can thrive in, and when he shows he can excel in that role you expand it slowly over time.

Cliff said Zeller will play a bigger role this year and last year he played 16-17 minutes per. Coach said last year he had wanted to up Cody's minutes to around 20 per and did during the end of the season. I'm assuming his bigger role this year which coach said will be around 20 minutes per.

If I was coach I'd play Vonleh in blow outs, when one of Big Al, Biz, Zeller or Marvin were injured, and depending on match ups during the beginning of the season.

I also think that Coach Cliffs form of developing players is better then anything we've seen so far. This is the way your suppose to develop players. Kemba developed a lot last year, Zeller developed a lot over the course of the season, MKG developed last season defensively showing thing Dunlap couldn't get out of him, even Biz developed a little in a smaller role last year, posting his best season yet, being asked only to protect the rim, contest shots, and rebound the ball.

I wonder why you say Coach clearly thought CDR was the best option? We've had 14 guys on our roster for a few weeks now. A few weeks back Coach said he hoped we would use the 15th spot for a big man but proceeded to say that they wanted to go into the season with a 14 guy roster, so they can have one spot to work with similar to last year incase of anything coming up. Coach also said after we got Lance, that now that we had Lance/Hendo/Neal/Pj/MKG/Taylor wings that the chances of CDR coming back were slim. We have 4 SG's and SG is CDR's best position. He's not a 3 and couldn't guard opposing 3's, he also would have struggle to beat Taylor out for minutes.

You say maybe we should have drafted Lillard. That's ridiculous. MKG was considered the best thing after Anthony Davis, and filled a major need. Lillard wasn't expected to be as good as he was, and wasn't projected to go over Mkg, Beal, Waiters, and a few others. It's east to say what you should have done after wards. At the time we had a pg and getting another pg would have been stupid. I find it funny you say we should have drafted Lillard even though we had Kemba, but you don't like that we drafted Vonleh with us already having Zeller.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 4, 2014 6:21:58 AM

"Clifford proved to be a great hire for the Bobcats last year, and his ability to 180 Charlotte’s defense was an invaluable part of their regular-season success. At least five new players will be suiting up next year, and all appear to be good fits for the Hornets. It’s just a matter of them believing that too.The Hornets wins won’t double to 86, but their roster-reconstruction this summer puts them in a really comfortable spot. Finishing with a three-seed and 50 wins would be an ideal season for Charlotte, and thanks to good management and a newly-established winning culture, that goal is within reach."

Posted by: Mike T. | Sep 4, 2014 6:37:34 AM

Iron man all that may be true but Coach Cliff likes the guy and he was our best option at the position.

704, the "best option" comment was meant relative to the down the stretch playoff push. No change in personnel at the spot (ex. CDR) at this point. Surely we sign another 3 to fill that last spot?

As for the Lliliard comment, that was meant as an example of how we could learn from past mistakes and adjust our draft thinking/strategy accordingly and apply to the 2014 draft. The "youngest/raw/project" template has never worked for Air Minny....but he did it gain in 2014. Let's try something different.

"Our new coach has a philosophy that you have to make your young players work for everything they get."

I'm all for that but, the MKG and Zeller slurpers certainly aren't buyers. Their opinion was McBob and CDR were playing too much, and MKG and Zeller being under-developed as a result. Bizfumble a whole story unto himself in this area.

I'm a Coach Cliff fan but until some solid example to the contrary are produced this franchise's track record for "developing" players is nil, nada, none, zero.

Obviously all rookies go through an adjustment process but by the All-Star break I think Warren would have earned the starting role over MKG (heck, whose to say Taylor won't come out of training camp #1 on the depth chart) and especially so if "floor spacing" was the primary criteria -- leave TJ open for even a moment and he will score. Sure, there's a trade off defensively, but over the long haul I'm confident TJ will have a much better career than MKG.

Mike, that's some funny stuff!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 4, 2014 8:46:57 AM

"heck, whose to say Taylor won't come out of training camp #1 on the depth chart"

I'll say it. Taylor has zero chance of being #1 out of training camp, and little chance of being major help off the bench. Before his Achilles rupture last year he played poorly, with a truly atrocious PER of 5.9, and his rookie season he had a really bad PER of 10.3. Why does anyone think he'll be a big contributor this year? He'll get a few minutes to prove himself, but our depth behind MKG will come from Lance, Gerald and Marvin as well as Taylor. Unless he shows something in the first half of the season I could see him and his un-guaranteed $915,000/year getting cut in favor of giving PJ some minutes.

At power forward, I'd split the minutes pretty much like 704 laid out, but add that Williams might see some time at small forward and Zeller might see some time at center, so there'll be a few minutes for Vonleh on a regular basis. And as 704 said he'll get experience as injury back-up and in blow-outs.

Clifford's approach to player development is a zillion times better than what we've seen in Charlotte over the last decade: teaching fundamentals and that you earn your minutes. Just give him a few years to see the results.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 4, 2014 10:49:48 AM

You're probably right on Taylor...he has a tough road ahead.

Your PF scenario makes some sense but let's not forget some had Vonleh going as high as #3 and most had him no lower than #5....and now he's reduced to hoping for mop up minutes? I thought this was supposed to be a Super Draft and we got a steal?

Cliff's approach to everything is better which makes me laugh even more about the great slurper theory that Silas & Son were the long term solution!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 4, 2014 11:18:06 AM

As I said, I think Vonleh will see regular minutes, maybe find 5-10 minutes a game for him on a nightly basis. Plus mop-up minutes, plus crucial depth in the front-court. If we lose any one of Jefferson, Williams, Biyombo, or Zeller to injury, then Vonleh's role jumps. So he'll get real exposure to NBA competition this year.

Charlotte is in win-now mode - hence hiring Williams to ensure something approaching starter quality at PF, while at the same time developing lots of young talent.

I think Vonleh was probably best talent available, and we have the firepower on board so that we can bring the young man along slowly while he develops. It's a luxury.

I do love TJ Warren, but it would have been a stretch to take him at #9 ahead of all these players:
9 Noah Vonleh
10 Elfrid Payton
11 Doug McDermott
12 Dario Saric
13 Zach LaVine

TJ would have been more help over the next few years [ignoring the crucial front-court depth Vonleh gives us], but until TJ proves he can play NBA defense and hit the three I like our choice better. Maybe he does those things, in which case he could end up the steal of the draft. But Vonleh's combination of size, athleticism and shooting is unusual and points to a higher likely top end than I see for TJ at this point.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 4, 2014 12:42:58 PM

Vonleh is raw but he will get minutes bc he's talented on both ends . It's a matter of catching up w the strength and speed of the game bc he's versatile and much more talented than any pf or center on defense on the team and more talented than anyone other than Jefferson on offense at pf or center . By a lot .

I agree totally about What Ben is saying about Taylor .

I agree w Nastars about rethinking the draft strategy . 704. There are talent experts that knew Lilliard was going to be a great pt gd in the pros when he was in college . You are too smart to deny that . If there were only one , that kills the Cats bc we are only concerned about what the Cats do . The fact that others missed him is bs . I never saw Lilliard in college . We know he wouldn't be the first small school guy to make it . He does a number of things so naturally and early on in his career , he has to have done these things in college . Ie , running the pick n roll , good ct vision , good decision making , making the at the rim passes , changing the pace of the game w ease and getting his team in the offense . I doubt if you probed Jerry West or Doc or Phil or Pop or Bob Knight , any of them would have not seen how well his game would have translated .

Equally , the Cats do not draft guys w high bb IQs at their positions nor do they use the d league properly . They drafted Kemba , a sg to run point . They drafted Zeller , a center to play a stretch four . They drafted Mkg who I'm told still has a minor hitch in his shot who had a horrific flaw n his shooting mechanics . Drafting senior players and not so much on potential gets you more nba ready players that helps development . Drafting players that do not have to change positions makes development easier . Drafting players w some semblance of bb iq makes development easier too ( biz has little ) .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 4, 2014 12:44:22 PM

"TJ would have been more help over the next few years..."


Now is the time to start thinking about NOW.

The Boobs lost $34,000,000 last year before food stamps....the need to stop the bleeding ASAP.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 4, 2014 12:57:54 PM

704. We had a raging debate about Faried over Biz . Guys were taking Biz even as late as last season . They don't understand that high motor , high energy is a talent just as big as most other talents . ESP if you can dominate or impact the game . I got slaughterd for Bringing up Faried over Biz after his first sumner league ( I think it was ). I even said either of the twins were better than Biz but I don't care for them as much as Faried . Would anyone now dare talk about Biz in the same breadth ?

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 4, 2014 1:25:14 PM

"Equally , the Cats do not draft guys w high bb IQs..."

The collective IQ of the entire organization has to be the lowest in the league by a WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDDE margin...

...therein lay the problem ;0)

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 4, 2014 1:41:45 PM

this dude is so dumb. marvin williams was a #2 pick, zeller a #4. even if the guy was a number 3 pick......at his age is it really that surprising to you that he wouldn't play much behind those 2? even if you put him at the 5 and gave him biyombo's minutes (I wouldn't) that's only 12-14 mpg.

you aren't even good at being a pessimist or a troll. just dumb. congratulations, you spend your time making the world a dumber place.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 4, 2014 1:50:48 PM

clttn...BenG is not dumb and he said: "TJ would have been more help over the next few years..."

That's the point pal, win now.

Where a player was "picked" is only relevant until the moment the contract is signed, after that it's a sunk cost and should be ignored (slurpers like you can't wrap your mush around the concept).

I never said anything about how much Vonleh should or would play, those estimates were provided by others...

...that said, yes, I find it extraordinary that a guy projected as high as #3 in The Monster Draft is reduced to mop up minutes -- did we ever figure out why he plummeted so far so fast on draft day? Possibly he's just not that good?

Welcome back buddy, I missed you!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 4, 2014 2:11:42 PM

"The Boobs lost $34,000,000 last year before food stamps....the need to stop the bleeding ASAP."

They've already done that by 1) posting a winning season and going to the playoffs last year, 2) hiring Lance Stephenson, 3)changing name back to the Hornets, 4) hiring Marvin Williams 5) maintaining the core of last year's team anchored by popular players Jefferson and Kemba.

TJ would have helped more than Vonleh in the next few years but only ignoring Vonleh's critical contribution to front-court depth. Without Vonleh they'd have to immediately go shopping for another big for depth, and those don't come cheap, so with that considered, Vonleh is just as important as TJ would have been, we just don't see that value as much until that depth is needed. Jefferson, Biyombo, Williams, Zeller ... between the four of them there are bound to be injuries and as soon as one goes down Vonleh sees more minutes. Already 5-10 minutes per game like I project isn't bad for a very young mid-lottery pick on a playoff team.

Meanwhile our depth at small forward behind MKG includes Williams, Stephenson, Henderson, Taylor, even PJ in a pinch ... they can cover that position with or without TJ and without shopping for additional talent.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 4, 2014 2:55:42 PM

" he's versatile and much more talented than any pf or center on defense on the team and more talented than anyone other than Jefferson on offense at pf or center . By a lot ."

No way Vonleh can touch Biyombo on the defensive end for years to come ... maybe with 3 years of maturation, learning, and strengthening, maybe not.

Offensively more talented than Williams and Zeller? Maybe raw talent, but in terms of delivering on the floor he can't touch either of them in the coming year.

I predict he'll be a foul machine on defense and turn-over prone on offense during his 10 minutes a game in the coming year which will be offset by excellent rebounding and decent shooting to preserve his time on the court.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 4, 2014 3:11:38 PM

"They've already done that by 1) posting a winning season and going to the playoffs last year". **yet they still lost $34,000,000**

"2) hiring Lance Stephenson". **whats the over/under on time before he fights a teammate?**

"3) changing name back to the Hornets". **irrrelevant and probably ultimately a cost center...even clttn agrees here**

"4) hiring Marvin Williams". **lost McBob, Williams costs more, doesn't know the system**

"5) maintaining the core of last year's team anchored by popular players Jefferson and Kemba." **staus quo, lost $34 mil with same popular guys last year**

Trust me, the bleeding continues....no way they make money this year. The people in Charlotte with the cash to fill up suites and expensive seats have proven they just do not care.

Give me TJ and Blatche right now over Vonleh, works out better in short-run and long-run.

You guys act like this team has the luxury of time, not even remotely the case....they need to win NOW. Vonleh as 11th man doesn't add to the win total.

Big Al is only locked up for this year and if he achieves All-NBA status again he's gonna opt out and test the market. Will the Boobs give him a multiple-year monster deal to keep him?

If they don't where does that leave us?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 4, 2014 3:32:40 PM

Charlotean .. Not so fast . Reasonable minds could think about whether Vonleh should get some burn over Williams and Zeller . Both have holes in their games and one could safely say almost big holes , if they are playing pf. Once I out a starting 5 of the dumbest players in bb . Williams made the team . He was playing sf and in fairness , fits better at pf . But pls don't act like he's that much . He's league average at best in or at anything and you know this . Zeller is still weak , got pushed around in summer league and hasn't improved to a level he can lay claim to the starting job by any stretch . Vonleh is raw but very good . You know too much about bb to argue its only a matter of time . He has the potential to be a great pf . And if he gets stronger and settles in on the speed , this may come quicker than you know . You played hs ball and college ball . You know big guys adjusted well from the step up bc they were they were still big in college . The adjustment for them was really the speed of the game . Vonleh is big and talented . He has to pretty much adjust to the speed and maybe some to the power but not as much . These things are easier to adjust to if you have the skills to adjust ( lateral agility , quickness , footwork etc ) and the size which he has . Zeller is weaker , slower and doesn't have close to the agility laterally defensively or footwork on offense . So he can't accelerate or improve as fast nor will his ceiling be as high for sure . Wlliams is just not as skilled as Zelker or Vonleh and is small for a pf. So Vonleh wins soon , possibly after the break but for sure , next yr . So it's not crazy to think he could come in to replace those two no matter what the draft positions of those two were . If Zeller weren't so weak , which impacts both sides of the ball and his ceiling ( to be a real starter impacting every night ) they would not have taken Vonleh . Maybe you take him and move him . But Zeller is weak and he's not responding to weights to the level he should to impact . Plus you add his piss poor ability to make the elbow shot , which will change .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 4, 2014 3:34:19 PM

I'm not sure why is there ANY debate as to how many minutes Vonleh will play. As if there is any rule that says that lottery pick NEED to play big minutes in their rookie years. There have been many lottery pick's that are not even on an NBA roster up until 1, 2 or 3 years later. Ricky Rubio, and Jonas Valanciunas come to mind, both Top 10 picks.

Ideally the Hornets will sign another big man that can score and play Center. I agree Andray Blatche should be considered and maybe even Gustavo Ayon. Truth is there are very little options right now, unless someone is waived in the next few weeks. Signing another big would serve sevral purposes: 1) add depth to the bench and 2) allowed the Hornets not to rush Vonleh.

Get Vonleh to the D-League, that is what the team should do. If they sign another big the decision should be easier. Leave him there his entire rookie year or at least until late January. Then you can bring him up and test him vs NBA reserves and get him going little by little while also having an extra big with "some" experience for the playoffs.

The D-League will be great for a kid that just turned 19 and will not see more than 10 minutes at the NBA level right now. He will play against much better, stronger and faster competition than what he did in college. And he will get plenty of playing time to get condition and continue to polish his skills. Make sure Clifford and Ewing keep track of his development, after all both those coaches had A LOT to do with who Dwight Howard is.

There is plenty of talk about Vonleh physical growth. He "may" be 6-11 and 250 by the age of 21. Get him 1 year between D-League and some serious time with Ewing, and you may have found your starting Center by the time he is 21. I know the Bobcats were HORRIBLE, developing talent, but I also know the Bobcats NEVER had a more talented coaching staff than the current one. Clifford, Ewing, Price and Co are all proven coaches and have ton of credibility.

Posted by: RobC | Sep 4, 2014 3:42:40 PM

""They've already done that by 1) posting a winning season and going to the playoffs last year". **yet they still lost $34,000,000**"

For most of the year last year they were still widely regarded as the laughable Bobcats, one season away from worst team in NBA history. Real interest didn't develop until the end of the year. Nobody but nobody was interested in Bobcats merchandise with the name change coming. Big, big difference building on last year's season vs. building on the season from two years ago.

That name change cost money, but it will have rapid payback in merchandise sales and goodwill from putting the bad memories of worst team in the NBA and of Bob Johnson in the rear-view. Merchandise sales will go through the roof - bet they already have, and there will be a jump in ticket sales. Can't speak for anyone else, but I always hated that nickname, hated their colors, hated their logo and graphics, and hated how the team was managed up until last year ... I was still a fan but I was never once tempted to go to Charlotte for a game or to buy merchandise. This year I'll almost definitely make the trip and I'll probably buy a ballcap. Hell I may even spring for a jersey.

Over-under on Lance fighting a team-mate? I have no idea - wouldn't be surprised if there is some little skirmish this year but doubt anything serious. I think the positives of his signing at the price he signed for far, far outweigh the negatives. He'll help them get back into the playoffs and drive media and fan interest in the team.

Hiring Williams showed a commitment to fielding a good team. Not the greatest signing in the world, yeah he's an average PF at best, but after we lost McBob we did step up and sign a competent replacement, of which there were very few available. Winning will keep fans engaged and close the gap on the financials. Between him and Lance we've replaced McBob and more.

Keeping the core intact is important not because of that core's track record financially, but because they did field a winning team and if you blow the core up then you destroy the emotional investment fans began to build last year.

There is a great chance for the Hornets to regain much of the love they once had in the city and the region. The owners and managers haven't blown that chance yet, thank god.

Given the relatively small market we compete in, and the talent available this year, I think the owners and managers did a good but not great job this off-season. Losing McBob stung ... fallout from their run at Hayward, which I didn't love. I would have preferred to resign McBob and get Lance, but it worked out pretty well in the end.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 4, 2014 4:37:29 PM

I don't like the idea of sending Vonleh to the D-league because it removes him from daily contact with Ewing and Clifford. I think their coaching on a daily basis combined with 5-10 minutes on game night is more useful than running the floor 35 minutes a night in the D-League.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 4, 2014 4:48:48 PM

This is awesome fellas, keep going!

In the Red Corner we have Rob arguing for an immediate year in the D-League for Vonleh....

....in the Blue Corner we have a Iron man arguing Vonleh really is a Zeller Dweller Insurance Policy...

....one cannot make this stuff up!!

Now fellas, I'm not giving either of you a hard time or saying either of you are wrong but what such a wiiiide divergence of opinion tells me is we have another player who is clearly a Wild A-- Gamble....(hence the giant slide on draft day, Boobs always last to know)....

....unfortunately Air Minny is 0-fer on WAG's, bodes poorly for Vonleh.

Draft me a guy that's mature, polished, skilled, older -- PLEASE!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 4, 2014 4:51:39 PM

Two people with different opions on a player is "stuff you can't make up" Someone really needs to get out more.

Posted by: T Time | Sep 4, 2014 5:14:01 PM

T Time I'm sure you just run roughshod all over Al Gore's internets with witticisms like that ;)

You don't find it odd that two fans could diverge so wildly in opinion on a draftee that some projected as high as #3 in The Monster Draft? What are your expectations for Vonleh?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 4, 2014 6:24:31 PM

2 random guys on a blog? I find it odd that someone would think it was odd. Should Orlando have taken Exum? Philly Embiid? There are divergent opinions from fans on most players. Don't care about Vonleh, I am a Bulls fan. Glad we pick up McBuckets. Either way you comment was beyond dumb. Sorry. Can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: T Time | Sep 4, 2014 7:21:35 PM

I think Clifford said somewhere the rookies would not have a big role this year . Ewing and Clifford have no exclusive on teaching anything to bigs . They send the nba players to be developed down tto tge d league w specific instructions , including the number of minutes to play and what to work on . Playing in the d league is way better for a rookie getting 30 minutes there as opposed to mop up time in the nba . I would expect Vonleh to have much better footwork and be a better inside offensive player than Howard . The development of Howard is not anything for either Ewing or Clifford to brag about bc Howard is still awkward on offense inside w his back to the beasket . He takes large steps inside instead of small steps for starters when doing moves .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 5, 2014 5:03:31 AM

Dang T Time if I didn't know better would think you were trying to hurt my feelings....

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 5, 2014 8:25:56 AM

To Nastar:

I don't think we will sign another 3. Right now we have a wing rotation of Lance/Hendo/Neal/Hairston/MKG/and Taylor. The way I see it is MKG/Lance/Hendo/Neal and Taylor will all get minutes with Hairston playing sparingly. Lance will start playing 30 min per MKG will get around 24 per like last year with the chance to maybe see a couple more minutes. That'll leave around 48 mimutes per to divide between Hendo/Neal/and Taylor. I think we'll see MKG start at the 3, and see Hendo come in playing the 2 and Lance slide to the 3, and Lance go out and Hendo playing the 2 with Taylor playing the 3.. etc Right now we have MKG/Lance/Hendo/and Taylor who can all play the 3 and will all most likely be spending time at the 3 this season. With Hendo being the best guy off the bench, our best unit to put on the floor will be Kemba/Hendo/Lance/Marvin/Big Al, which I think will be our closing lineup. A 3rd big man will be more of a need then a 3rd sf. I'm thinking if one of our better wings Lance/MKG/Hendo get injured or Taylor doesn't play well this season, we could end up signing a sf during the course of the season. The same reason we could be signing a 3rd SF during the season can be a reason we might have to sign a 3rd C during the season which is why I think the team is keeping that 15th spot open. For instance Zeller and Vonleh wouldn't be good at back up C over the course of the year playing 15 min per so if Biz got injured and was to miss the season we'd need that 15th spot for a back up C.

I can see what you saying on the draft thing. I think the reason we drafted a raw player was because for the foreseeable future we look to be a playoff team. This lottery pick was our last chance to try to get a franchise caliber player or an all star level player though the draft. Our other potential players Biz, MKG, Zeller, are all young but none project to be stars in the future. My thinking on this is in our range there were 3 guys who were NBA ready (Adrien Payne, Mcdermott, and Warren.) None of these guys have the star potential of Vonleh. I think that we looked at it as we have one last lottery pick for the next few years, lets get a guy with a solid floor and massive potential, and see if he can turn into what we hope and wanted MKG,Biz, Zeller etc to be, while increasing our chances of one of these guys being an all star. Add that to us not having a need of the rookie making an impact immediately because of the team having depth we haven't seen here in years if ever and it was the best time ever to shoot for the fences.

Lol I think there will always be some people who aren't satisfied with someones playing time. They were people who wanted Big Al to play less minutes last year, and people who wanted Jeff Adrien to play more, along with Tolliver, Taylor etc. I even saw people last year saying Ben Gordan needed more minutes, which is crazy. There were only a couple of them but still I couldn't believe any one wanted Gordan to actually play.

Yea I agree with you their. One year is to quick to judge players development. We'll have to give it a few season until Zeller's in his 4th year or going into RFA, then we'll be able to give a better judgement on his player development skills. I do have to say I like what I'm seeing in that regard so far, he has shown a knack to get the best out of his players, with Tolliver, CDR, and Mcbob having career year, Biz having arguably the best seasons he's ever had and Big Al having the 2nd best year of his career.

I liked Warrens game also. If we had a pick around 11-14. I would have wanted to take him. My draft board was (Embiid,Wiggins,Parker,Exum,Gordon,Smart,Vonleh,Randle) which were the top tier IMO. Then if they were gone I wanted one of Stauskas or Mcdermott for their shooting skill, and potential. Then I liked Lavine,Payton, Warren, Payne, Hood, etc. The thing about warren was he didn't have the potential to go as some of the other guys on the board who were projected to go at #9 such as Lavine, Payton, and then he didn't fit our offense with the lack of an outside shot. He definitely will force the defense to guard him but his lack of a 3 point shot mixed with MKG not having any type of jump shot would have been counter productive. I think we would have grabbed Mcdermott or Stauskas over Warren for their 3 ball and potential. Stauskas for his ability to be a second ball handler, create for others, and his potential to be an elite 3 point shooter, and Mcdermott because his skillset fits with MKG's very nicely. McBuckets would have allowed us to start MKG with defense and then bring in a guy who can space the floor , and score form every where. Warren is a very good scorer and I think he'll have a good scorer but I don't know about him having a better career then MKG yet. I'll need to see him play a few NBA games first. MKG in 2 years with out a jump shot has found a way to greatly impact games through his rebounding, defense, and hustle plays. He's one of the best up and coming perimeter defenders and a very good SF rebounder, and all of 20 going to be 21 soon. His career averages right now are 8.2 ppg 5.6 rpg 1.2 apg .7 spg .8 bpg and 46.4%FG in 25.2 mpg.

I'm thinking in MKG's prime around 26-29 years of age, he'll be posting 14-18 ppg 7-9 rpg 2 apg 1 spg 1 bpg in 30 something minutes per while giving close to elite defense if not elite defense. I think Warren will be an all around better offensive player, and average more points per game for his career, and I can see Warren having a 20 point season one year in his career, but I don't think he'll ever be the defender or rebounder MKG is which won't allow him to make as big of an impact.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 5, 2014 9:42:53 AM

To Ironman:

Haha I remember the Biz:Faried conversations.
I was in the Faried camp on that one. lol That was a bad case of people overrating Biz because he plays for us. Which twins are you talking about? Plumlees? Yea Faried is definitely better though, and he was killing it putting up around 20 and 10 at the end of last season. The 20 and 10 are loosely based numbers I can't remember exactly what he averaged when he was killing it but it as close.

We had a debate about Kyrie vs Kemba after the season was over. Me and maybe one or two others were in the Kyrie camp, the rest were making cases for Kemba lol. I think every team over rates their players to some extent though, just some more then others.

I also agree we do need more high basketball Iq drafted players. Zeller was billed as high IQ and NBA ready last off season, and from what I see he does seem to have a high IQ. Biz was definitely not to good of a pick, he struggles with basic plays. I do like his rim protections, and rebounding though. If he can learn to catch the ball, and where to position him self on offense/defense he can be one of the better back up C's in the league. One thing I like about Biz is that a lot of times he's a little out of place on defense, yet he still manages to contest almost every shot, block 1.1 shots per in 14-15 minutes which is really good, and pull down 4-5 boards in 14-15 minutes. He'll never have a high basketball IQ, but in 3-4 years if he can learn where to position himself and to catch it would do so much for his game. He'll never live up to the #6 pick though unless he turns into Ben Gordan which is slim to none.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 5, 2014 10:01:44 AM

704, good stuff, thanks.

I understand what you are saying about the potential rotation at the 3 but the bear case on your strategy is we'd be small...

Reminds me of this from Coach Cliff: ....Clifford was asked if he’d go small in his lineup much. He joked in reply that going small in the NBA is fine “unless you want to win.”


If you read the article he goes on to say how San Antonio intentionally bolstered "size around the perimeter" with the 6'7" shooting guard Kawhi Leonard.

As for TJ...I think he will be fine on all fronts. Last year he was:
-- ACC #1 scoring w/ 24.8/pg...5.5 more than next guy.
-- ACC #1 FG% top-20 scorers...52.5%, only one other t-20 over 50%.
-- ACC #7 rebounding w/ 7.2/pg...MKG got 7.4/pg at KY.
-- ACC #4 steals w/ 1.73/pg...MKG was 1.3/pg at KY.

Keep in mind TJ was busy putting up 19 shots per game (MKG took 8) so clearly he wasn't coasting when ball wasn't in his hands. And he's 6'8", taller.

I think TJ runs circles around MKG and it won't take long to see the evidence of this taking place... JMO.

TJ & Blatche vs. Vonleh & TBD Big Man...

...Boobs better off with the former.

"Biz was definitely not to good of a pick..."

Completely agree.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 5, 2014 11:44:50 AM

704. Few guys have the ability to change my thinking . More guys here do than the boys club inc the new returnee Charlotean who will give you a run for your money once he warms up . You included btw . I like the breakdown as to wing minutes . Cliffird would be amazed bc he says he doesn't know yet .

I was talking about the Twins playing for the Suns . I asked guys what they thought about the younger Plumlee kid . Many around here dogged him which surprised me . ( guys at ROF) I thought he could play . Coach K has had a few that are better in the pros which should tell him something . Mcrberts , Henderson , Plumlee and possibly Kyrie all come to mind .

I was in the Kyrie camp and I believe I started the debate . It came from a crazy post I responded to about Kemba being better . I ripped all opposing views on all accounts . Those guys kept bringing up stats . But you could see Kyrie had the skills to do things he wasn't doing for whatever reason . ( greedy ) . To me , Kemba didnt have the skillset . Kyrie is a natural pt gd . He can run the pick and roll but didnt bc , like Kemba , he never hit the roller . But he , unlike Kemba had the ability to hit the roller . This yr , bc the team is built all the way out , you will see Kembas flaws much better . It's sad bc the East is better and there's no better opportunity w the team assembled that they can take advantage of the potential unless a natural pt gd is at the helm . We will see.

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 5, 2014 11:54:15 AM

Lance at sf is not per se , small ball . He's very strong ,plays big , huge position defense , pushes , leans ,uses his lower body , is well built below and up top and most imp , he weighs in at 235 . Plus he defends wo getting torched or abused , the bigger sfs . Either Henderson or Lance will have an advantage at sf . Mkg won't necessarily . In the nba , weight is almost as good as height . Think Barkley or Adrien . Bottom line is that they don't get abused on the defensive end . Think Beverly w the
Rockets . He's just not that good on offense .

As each day goes by , the more it seems Bledsoe n the Suns are at a real impasse . Cho has to take advantage of this . Bc his agent has sooooo much leverage w his other client n King James and Bledsoe is a serious combo gd , something good will happen for Bledsoe . Cho could have had him on the cheap a yr n a half ago . I've been clamoring for him since then . This will be the answer at pt gd now and in the future . The Hornets will be a top three in the East team . Whatever stats Cho is looking at seeing Kemba as the man at starting point , he's a fool and they're grossly misleading . Bledsoe is the guy . The Suns were picked not to be a playoff contender bc few knew Bledsoe would do what he did but should had they seen him w the Clippers . Hornacec playing two ball handlers did have something to do w it too . Still , Bledsoe is the future ..... Now .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 5, 2014 1:18:38 PM

Iron man,

Shorty 5'10"
Hendo 6'4"
Looney Lance 6'5"

NBA avg:
PG 6'2"
SG 6'5"
PF 6'8"

Spurs if Boobs dumb enough to put that lineup on floor:
Parker 6'2"
Kawhi 6'7"
Daye 6'11"

We clearly need another tall 3...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 5, 2014 3:06:01 PM

Iron Man,

I actually like Eric Bledsoe, and I like him a little more than Kemba, mainly because of his defense. However, you cannot credit him too much with the Suns success last year. He missed 39 games (almost half the season) and 20 of the 49 wins for the Suns came with Bledsoe out of their line-up.

The only reason why I don't like Bledsoe too much, is for the same reason I hated the signing of Gordon Hayward. Bledsoe is not worth anywhere near a Max Contract. The Hornets will have to give up a too much, plus give him a HUGE $14-$16M per year contract (he already rejected $12M/Year). I rather have Kemba at the PG for $9M and use those extra $5-$7M in some other player. Bledsoe by himself is not that valuable.

Posted by: RobC | Sep 5, 2014 3:39:20 PM


K Leonard is not a SG. He has hardly played the SG position in his NBA career. Avtually, he has played more PF than SG in his career. He is primarily and "almost" exclusively a SF.

Posted by: RobC | Sep 5, 2014 3:50:28 PM

Rob c .. I agree that he's not that valuable but you have to overpay at times and must capture the moment . Equally , Kemba at point beyond the season is worthless at any cost bc you can't win w him . Bledsoe despite being overpaid , can take you all the way . He , his agent and many others know this . He does everything the Hornets need and there's a scarcity of point gds that play both ways , have size , can hit the three , score , have a mid range , can get you asssts at the rim ( forget the stats bc he can at least throw them ) and makes everyone instantly better . I think I would take him over Rondo .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 5, 2014 3:58:17 PM

RobC, fair point, not sure what I was thinking...especially relative to the 11:44 post. As for the 3:06 post, I'm sure Kawhi would do just fine in that scenario if asked, especially against Gerald Henderson.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 5, 2014 4:07:03 PM

if you're making the argument we should have taken warren over vonleh........it wouldn't be unreasonable. and i might even agree. it's a size and style of play difference.

but let's say we did draft warren.........warren would be in the same boat. he'd still be competing against a number 2 pick and a number 4 pick who are older and more experienced. and just as talented. on a team that is in win-now mode.

in essence.......you arguing that we're in win-now mode made vonleh the right pick. he gives us a guy that won't be a wasted pick because he isn't ready to contribute yet anyways. by the time he's ready it will feel like we just reloaded. i think that's the idea. jefferson for a few more and then vonleh will be ready.

and yes he SHOULD be in the d-league this year when he gets healthy. he should be practicing being a go-to player in our offense (oh wait we don't have a d-league team) as opposed to being a role player (at best) on the big team. and he can still soak up the atmosphere and nba life while he's rehabbing the injury and in the playoffs.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 6, 2014 10:01:42 AM

Here's an article backing up what I said above: the Hornets are already on track to fix their financials: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/09/05/the-court-as-centerpiece-of-a-total-rebrand-the-buzz-is-back-in-charlotte/

Buzz is the word, all right. The Charlotte community is reveling in the return of its long-lost Hornets. New season-ticket sales, the team reports, are soaring (north of 3,000 and renewals are around 90 percent), second only to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Merchandise sales are breaking team records (and replica jerseys, they note, went on sale only this week). Blue-chip corporations disinterested in partnering with the Bobcats suddenly want in. McDonald’s and Mercedes-Benz are first-time sponsors.

“It’s crazy down here,” Hornets chief marketing officer Pete Guelli said. “We went from being an afterthought to all of a sudden being relevant in little under a year. I’m not complaining. It’s almost hard to put the success that we’ve had into words. Every metric that we measure our business by has exploded.

No need to rush development of our young talent, worry about drafting a bit of a project if the future upside is high, or to trade young talent away to turn finances around. That's already taken care of by the vast improvement in the team and by the name change.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 6, 2014 10:52:21 AM

Guys develop way faster in the d league playing a full contingent of minutes working on specific stuff rather than getting 10 minutes a game playing in the pros . ESP w a team that's trying to win every game . Once the season is going , they don't even scrimmage that much . You can get only so far w practicing reps outside of playing real games . Look at the tape of Mkg or Biz taking and making all those shots in yrs past . Such reps really didnt translate . You need reps but scrimmaging and extended minutes in real games too . Vonleh is perfect to develop in the d league . He has raw skills to build off w few flaws to slow progress . Biz has poor raw skills that preclude development . ( poor hand eye coordination , poor lateral agility , low bb iq , terrible hands , poor shooting mechanics , poor reaction time , issues w general processing etc ) . Mkg ( poor shooting mechanics ) . Having said this , I forgot the Cats were 4 and 4 w Biz starting . He must have done something right . I think Clifford had him stop doing too many things and jock had him concentrate on a few things . I would imagine wo Jefferson , the offense opened up and the defense got amazingly better . What was it ?

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 6, 2014 10:56:48 AM

Nastars .. Shorty is 5 ft 11. W either a short standing reach or shirt wingspan . ( I forget) . Henderson is 6 ft 5 . W w big standing reach and long wingspan . This is length too . Lance I think has a good standing reach and a long wingspan too . I think Biz does too which allows him to play center at only 6 ft 9 on defense pretty well against centers like Howard who are awkward on offense . Guys w good footwork at center , hurt him . Ie Jefferson or Cousins .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 6, 2014 11:04:21 AM

Lance will end up starting at the 2 with MKG at the 3. They will have absolutely no problem matching up with opposing wings. They will be lock down defenders and other teams better now get back because either can rebound and get into transition in a hurry. This team will be very interesting to watch. Henderson will be a nice player for the Hornets off the bench. Team has some actual depth this year.

Posted by: Real | Sep 6, 2014 11:12:29 AM

To Nastar: The thing about going small is usually you match up better and give your self a better chance to win with Size. With our team we're in a position where it's going to be Do you want to go with size which will be Kemba/Lance/MKG/Marvin/Big Al, or Kemba/Lance/MKG/Marivn/Big Al vs Kemba/Hendo/Lance/Marvin/Big Al. Lance has proved that he can guard any 3 in the league, from his playoff performance guarding Lebron where he did as good a job as any one could wish for. I think coach ultimately sacrifices size for an overall better lineup. Taylor and MKG don't have the overall game of Hendo or Neal, and MKG and Taylor, and Hendo/Lance with one of MKG/Taylor won't be as good of a pairing as Hendo and Lance together. Both Lance and Hendo can defend and score where as Taylor is coming off a season ending injury and hasn't been too good since we got him, and MKG at this time isn't a threat on offense.

Oh yea. I didn't know much about the Plumlee twins but I have to say I am definitely surprised by how good they have been.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 6, 2014 11:13:36 AM

"New season-ticket sales, the team reports, are soaring (north of 3,000 and renewals are around 90 percent)"

Where are the "reports" on this information? I've never seen this team report any hard numbers on season tickets or net new ticket sales. And a whole bunch of nosebleed season won't put a dent in the $34,000,000 hole.

For several years now the slurpers having benn saying "team is now profitable"....clearly not even close.

Plumlee's....mature, fundamentally sound, full grown, smart...who'da thunk it.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 6, 2014 11:30:19 AM

I don't think Vonleh needs to go to the development league. In the development league teams play no defense and run a super fast pace. I don't see Vonleh learning anything there.

Earlier in the off season when they were posting videos of draft prospects working out at TWC arena they interview Cliff a few times, and he talked about MKG being here and working with Price, and Kemba, Zeller and Biz putting in work to get better. He said that it's good that players work out during the summer but said it's better when they work out with the team and team coaches and trainers. He said it better working out with the team staff because they know exactly what the specific player needs to work on in regards to their game and in regards to weight training and endurance.

If Vonleh goes to the Developmental league I see the cons as #1 He doesn't learn our system meaning when he does come to out team he has to start from scratch. #2 I feel their is a big chance he will learn bad tendencies in the development league such as their no defense policy, their run and gun style, and I could see him trying to play the perimeter instead of in the post.

Coach said after we drafted Vonleh in an interview it was either right after the draft or during summer league and he was asked what he though of Vonleh for the future. He said he really likes Vonleh's game, and that you don't often see guys with the type of skillset and physical attributes that give them the ability to impact the game in every way. Then he talked about how he could be a good defender, good offensive player, rim protector, and perimeter defender. He then said the big thing for Vonleh will be learning how to play in the post. He said Vonleh like all young bigs wants to stay on the perimeter and shoot 3's. He said the difference between Vonleh being good and being really good, is if he learns how to play in the post first. He thinks if Vonleh can learn how to play in the post well it'll allow him to draw double teams, which will make it easier on him when he does shoot jump shots.

If Vonleh stays with the team coach can mold his game how he wants to fit the team, make him play in the post, teach him how to play defense from day one which he won't learn in the D league, he can learn the system from day 1, he can be seen by our coaches who can put together weight routines that will get him the size the coaches think will best help him in the NBA, he can practice against real NBA players like Big Al, Biz, Zeller, being around the coaches will also all them to fix anything in his game that they think needs re working from day 1, and it also makes it where he won't pick up bad habits in the D league, last he can be around Big Al and Ewing along with the team in general and build chemistry with the players that will help on the court, and get a few minutes here and their.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 6, 2014 11:34:34 AM

Biz had a surprisingly decent season last year. Shot a high percentage, limited turnovers, and was an excellent rebounder and shot-blocker.

Draft express has his stats as:
Height w/o Shoes Height w/shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Body Fat
6' 8.31" ------- 6' 9.5"--------- 245 ------ 7' 6.16" ------ 9' 3.42" ------- 4.2

His wingspan and standing reach are fantastic, and he is quick, strong, athletic, can leap.

Only 22 ... I think it's time to re-evaluate all the negative thinking about that pick: he is a real, valuable asset going into this season. With some incremental improvement he should be an entirely legit backup center this year.

A 22-year old athletic, long, legit back-up center - who wouldn't want that asset. I think we should probably extend his contract now if we can do so affordably.


Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 6, 2014 11:34:41 AM

R.e. Kemba's height, wingspan and standing reach, from Draft Express http://www.draftexpress.com

Year Source Height w/o Shoes Height w/shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Body Fat No Step Vert Max Vert
2011 NBA Draft Combine 5' 11.5" 6' 1" 184 6' 3.5" 7' 7.5" 5.9 32.0 39.5

Some other smallish point guards:
Isaiah Thomas
Year Source Height w/o Shoes Height w/shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Body Fat No Step Vert Max Vert
2011 NBA Draft Combine 5' 8.75" 5' 10.25" 186 6' 1.75" 7' 7.5" 6.7 31.5 40.0

Chris Paul
Year Source Height w/o Shoes Height w/shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Body Fat No Step Vert Max Vert
2005 NBA Pre-Draft Camp 5' 11.75" 6' 1" 178 6' 4.25" 7' 9" NA 32.0 38.0

Ty Lawson
Year Source Height w/o Shoes Height w/shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Body Fat No Step Vert Max Vert
2009 NBA Draft Combine 5' 11.25" 6' 0.5" 197 6' 0.75" 7' 10.5" 6.6 29.0 36.5

So his wingspan is not bad, but his standing reach is short - equal to Isaiah Thomas', who is almost 3" shorter.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 6, 2014 11:56:09 AM

Ben...good info.

However, the elephant in the room is those other guys are PG's...Shorty is a 2-guard playing out of position.

I feel like the chat room has a much less confrontational tone lately, way less name calling (clttn an exception), good onya fellas!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 6, 2014 11:59:23 AM

704 . You're giving too much credence to working w the coaches and not enough w playing in the d league . I must admit , I'm not sure how it works when you don't have a d league team . But I will make a call . W a team , the guys are sent down w instructions on what to work on . The offense and defense is the same as the nba teams . A faster paced game won't hurt Vonleh bc he will get more touches and have to defend better , longer an w more intensity . There will be enough slow down ball at the end of quarters even in the run n gun style . Bc he's a star , the game will revival around his game , not the reverse . Since Mj has to contribute to the team he sends him to , they will most likely comply ESP since the coach will jump over tables to get him . These guys are trying to get wins and get recognized .

Ben .... Thanks for the shorty stats and the stats of his rivals . Man , you picked some wicked rivals . Too bad that he only measures up only w some of those stats you set out . When it comes to real point gd play , it's night and day . I hope Cho will come to his senses . I can safely say this. .... Pop , Phil , .Doc , Bobby Knight , Thibbs , Spo ( riles) or the deceased Red Auerbach wouldn't offer shorty a damn dime to run point as the starter . He wouldn't get past the first requirement in bb , namely does he make teammates better . In fact name one player shorty makes better ? One . Name one player on the respective rosters that Isiah , Ty or Paul don't make better . One .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 6, 2014 12:36:20 PM

704 .. Pls invite one of the guys over . You've made this site better . Just one . Not Focus . Not Adam . Not south tunnel . Pls read the Queen City hoops article on Henderson . It claims only 7 guys in the league kept players to a lower per on defense . I always thought he never got the recognition for his defensive play . He and Mkg were a top 5 defensive duo and it took the both of them to keep the defensive position high , not just Mkg . You could see the drop off when he went out as well as Mkg and both rotated and helped like crazy in the defensive schemes . Mkg could rest on offense . It goes on to say that both Henderson and Kmba decreased almost 10% w shots taken inside 10 feet .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 6, 2014 12:45:19 PM

Also , I think Clifford was talking about practicing in the summer when he said players need to be here . I doubt Clifford would be opposed to sending players down at all . ESP the ones who won't play or impact . Plus , the league is bolstering up the use of the d league by teams . They know these guys are too one dimensional . If they took your position , they wouldn't move to increase the USEAGE . Teams don't have time to practice or scrimmage much during the yr .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 6, 2014 12:51:51 PM

Iron Man,

The only good thing that happen while Biyombo started last season and the only reson the Cats won 4 games is because they played twice against the HORRIBLE Cavalierls, once vs a very bad Raptors team and the underwhelming Knicks. Let's not get carried away by the .500 record please. None of those teams had any post presence or reliable low post scorer. Toronto could be the exception, but they were really bad the first half of the season (until they traded Rudy Gay).

Posted by: RobC | Sep 6, 2014 3:05:56 PM

Rob c . Thank you . I didnt know . I saw guys talking Biz up bc of the record . I guess you're one of the guys that is no longer high on Biz . I'm w you .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 6, 2014 4:49:02 PM

" Man , you picked some wicked rivals ."

LOL, yeah, pretty much started at the top of the list of point guards sorted by scoring and picked a few of the shorter ones for comparison.
Paul is incomparable, Lawson is awesome.

I didn't know much about Isaiah - never get to see him play, but from his stats he looks like a talented shooter and scorer, averaging 20 pts/game (on a bad team). His assists were nothing special at 6.3/game with 3 turnovers, which are worse stats (in combination) than Kemba's 6.1/game with 2.3 TOs.

Kemba is a better rebounder and defender according to stats. But Isaiah's superior shooting gives him an advantage in player effectiveness rating at 20.5 vs Kemba's 16.8 last year and career average PER 18.7 vs Kemba's 17.1.

Looks like Isaiah was a steal for Sacramento - 60th player chosen in the 2011 draft, and a good deal for the Suns at his 4 year $27 million contract. Really nice player who could use improvement on his turnovers and defense. Pretty darn similar to Kemba in a lot of ways - athletic but undersized shoot-first pg with the advantage of being a better shooter.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 6, 2014 6:09:42 PM

Don't know too much about him . But it's claimed bc if his size , he doesn't play dedense well . The difference is he can run the pick and roll , no matter what his stats are . I believe they felt as I do about Kemba , that they wouldn't be able to win w him . I think I also read he had some attitude issues . In any event , Kemba can't do the things I outlined as to running point . The numbers therefore are immaterial .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 6, 2014 9:51:44 PM

Rob C:

We won 5 games with Biz starting giving us a record of 5-4 during the 9 games he started with wins against BRK, Cle 2 times, NYK, and Tor.

During these 5 wins Biz averaged 5.8 ppg 9 rpg 1.8 bpg 29.9 mpg and 66.7% fg

We also held those 5 teams during those wins to 88.4 ppg when Biz was the starter.

Biz played very big parts into all of these wins. You also have to remember during the beginning of the season we weren't that good of a team we had a brand new coach making rookie mistakes, who didn't know what to to expect out of his players, he was experimenting with lineups and playing time, we had no chemistry, were learning a new system, and our whole team was adjusting to a slowed down pace. When we beat these teams we were on the same level as them and actually projected to be worse. Toronto wasn't that bad with Gay at all, we actually only beat them by 2, with MKG saving that game for us scoring the game winning bucket and 4 out of our last 5 points, getting a clutch block on Rudy gay in the final minutes to stop Gay from tying the game, and pulling down a couple well contested boards. We won that 92-90

New York knicks were 6 games worse then us, and suffered a lot of injuries this year. If Chandler would have been healthy all year they likely would have been back to the playoffs, they just were dealing with to much.

You always have to earn wins even against the not so good teams, for instance we beat Cleveland twice with Biz as the starting C both times by 6 points, then with Big Al starting we won by 9 points the first time and only won by 2 points the 2nd time.

Biz's overall stats for the 9 games he started: 4.7 ppg 8.2 rpg 1.3 bpg 65.2% fg 27 mpg

Biz's off the bench stats 68 games:
2.6 ppg 4.3 rpg 1.1 bpg 60.3% fg 12.2mpg

Biz's production in 12.2 minutes per game is crazy good. 4.3 boards and 1.1 blocks in 12.2 minutes. Another thing Biz does is he holds opponents to 39% at the rim for the season.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 7, 2014 4:11:41 AM

I have to admit the only thing I know about the D league is what I've heard and what I've seen through small samples maybe 2 games on tv, and PJ Hairston highlights, mixed with d league players in the NBA.

If he could go their with the coaches being instructed on what he needs to work on etc that wouldn't be the worst thing.

I noticed the drop off on their shots at the rim that had a big effect on both of Kemba and Hendo's FG%. I was looking up Lances production last year at try to get a feel of what to expect for him after we signed him, and I noticed that last year almost one out of every 2 shots he attempted was at the rim. Lance took 11.2 fga's per last year and around 5.2-5.4 were at the rim. I think this year Lance will have a bigger role in the offense, taking more shots 13-15, and will only be getting 4-5 shots at the most at the rim, and will be taking more 3's then he did before because we'll need that for spacing, causing his FG% to drop to anywhere from 43-46%. I had looked it up earlier Ican't remember the exact amount but Lance had around 14 games last season where he shot at least 15 attempts in a game and he shot 44.7% from the field scoring a little over 18 ppg. I think next season Lance is going to post averages around 15-18 ppg 4-5 apg 5-6 rpg on 43-46%. (Just a random thought that the shot at the rim brought up.)

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 7, 2014 5:10:42 AM

Yea you're right he was talking about during the summer. I honestly didn't even think about the lack of practices or limited amount of practice that players get during the season. Even with the lack of practices I think I'd still rather him stick around and get watched over by the coaches, building chemistry with teammates, learn the system, and get play time when he can.

My main reason is this:

I think the chances we make it through the season with Big Al, Biz, Zeller, and Marvin fully healthy are slim to none, and calling Vonleh up from the D league to play NBA minutes when one of these guys gets injured not knowing our system, and never playing any minutes with our team, will hurt more then it helps. When one of Big Al/Zeller/Marvin/or Biz gets injured the team will need Vonleh to be ready to step up immediately. Him being able to learn his teammates tendencies, being able to practice against Big Al and the other guys when they do practice, being able learn our system, and being able to play real NBA minutes when they are available will have the possibility to help him and our team more then the D league can. The difference between him being called up from the D League and being thrown into our rotation with with out knowing the system, with out ever playing any real minutes, without ever playing with his team mates before, and every thing else I had mentioned vs already knowing the system, already having played some NBA minutes, already learning teammates tendencies through game time, practice, film break down, gaining chemistry through being around the players, playing in games, etc will give us our best chance for success.

Thinking about our 5 man big rotation of

Big Al/Biz/Vonleh

has made me realize their will be alot of minutes for Vonleh this season.

Mcroberts missed 4 games
Biz missed 5 games
Big Al missed 9 games

This season we'll likely see something similar and when the other bigs get injured Vonleh will be playing increased minutes.

Antoher reason is Adrien played 25 games out of the 55 games he was on the team and averaged aroung 10 minutes per.

So Vonleh will likely see something similar seeing a good bit of injury minutes (hopefully not to many though), blow out minutes, specific match up minutes,he'll get the so and so isn't playing good so coach sits him on the bench for a breather minutes, he'll get the foul trouble to the main guys minutes, along with the end of the quarter don't want the rotation guys to pick up dumb foul minutes. Of course all these minutes will vary but by the end of the season he could have any where from 10-20 minutes per. Tolliver last year went from not playing to starting when MKG and Taylor got injured playing 30 something minutes per and then by the end of the season was playing spot minutes again and 10 minutes a game if lucky. He still managed to play 20 minutes per for the season.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 7, 2014 5:11:14 AM

704. The dedense of Bizs impact as a starter was brilliant . As to sending Vonleh to the d league , I'm talking about the benefits for him , yore talking about the team benefits . We further , don't know if tge d league offense and defenses are different than the Hornets . Who is it and where is it ?

Ot . Neither Rose or Kyrie have shined much . Or Klay . Some other guys like Lilliard , who's a pure point gd should not have been left off the team . These teams are too much about money and name recognition . There's no way Rose should have made the team and thereafter , his play supports him not getting the nod .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 7, 2014 5:56:26 AM

704.. Who do you think will win the international games tournament ? The Us or Spain ? The Us is getting better each game . Spain has an way more experienced team and three of the best bigs in the nba playing w them . I've never seen Harden come thru in big games and he will have to come through to be in the game .

Also , who's the nba favorite now to win it all ? Spurs? Cavs ? Bulls ? . Lastly ,this is my seeding for the East .. 1 Cavs . 2 . Bulls . 3 . Wizards . 4 . Raptors . 5 . Pistons . 6 Hawks . 7 . Nets . 8 Hornets / Knicks / Bucks . Pls save this . The Hornets will be in or out based upon what they do w their depth at sg and wing together w getting the requisite combo gd USEAGE out of Lance . You brought up a good point . He gets half his shots at the rim . Will Clifford clear the lanes for Kemba , Henderson and Lance ? This means Jefferson must move away from the left side where he camps out , screen way more up top , hand off way more and hit cutters when he gets doubled . If the offense evolves , they get in . If not and it's the same old dump into Jefferson policy , the Hornets will lose out to a much tougher East where no longer half the teams are rushing to the bottom to get Wiggins , Parker or Embiid .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 7, 2014 7:42:07 AM

704. This is my take on the big three w the Hornets . These three are greedy , strong willed , ego maniacal , selfish players all trying to get to the promised land ( all star team) for the first time . They each believe firmly that they were scorned and unfairly rejected . Making the all star team will totally define their careers and cost them tens of millions of dollars if they don't . All three think they are better than guys that made it and will rush after each game to see what their competitors did in the game they played in . Kemba is so greedy , he may demand updates from quarter to quarter . Two of these guys are from NYC . My roommate was from NYC and one of my closest friends who was cut from the team was from there too These guys are from a different planet . They're bright , selfish , hard core , confrontational and think nothing else matters but what they want . I'm believe that Kobe is somehow from NYC .

What does this mean as far as the Hornets go ? They won't share the ball . Worse , bc they can't do other things to shine , sharing the ball will be out the question . Kemba will continue to jack . He needs volume and can't shoot and never could shoot in college . He believes 20 a game will knock someone off no matter how poorly he shoots it . Jefferson will keep doing what he does wo passing the ball or giving any effort on defense . It's his team . If he passes , his stats go down and if he doesn't rest on defense , he can't score as much . Lance will hold the ball trolling for openings as he was accused of w the Pacers . I agree that he will take 13 shots a game . To do it tho , he will have to OVERDRIBBLE trying to get close to the rim . He will get it off the glass and go causing a rapid uptick in turnovers pissing Clifford off . This will piss Kemba off or make him more anxiuos bc he loves to hold the ball on the break to get to half ct sets that allow him more shots . The dump into Jefferson policy will piss Lance off for sure . The lane clogging will make him go ballistic . He will implode and be a cancer when he sees that when the ball gets back in Kembas hands , it never leaves or when Jefferson is doubled , he rarely passes . Pls save this post . By mid break , the three won't be speaking . I played w selfish players at times . Guys that had higher agendas . It always ends this way .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 7, 2014 8:59:13 AM

The reason I present this to you is you have a great penchant for painting the other side . One that may work . I doubt there's any chance here but I'm here to listen . You put three greedy ego maniacal guys on a team all trying desparately for the same thing at the same time and I see no other cap scenario . There's no other way out .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 7, 2014 9:05:15 AM

Al and Lance were both among the better assist men at their position last year.

Al: 5th in assists per game among centers at 2.1/game. 5th in assist/to ratio at 1.25. His reputation as a black-hole was broken last year under Clifford, and those numbers came with him routinely playing with 2 wing players who either never (MKG) or rarely (Hendo) took a three pointer, which limited his opportunities both for assisting threes and for hitting cutters since the lanes were clogged.

Lance: 5th in assists per game among shooting guards with a decent A/TO ratio of 1.71.

We documented in the last thread how Kemba's assists went up dramatically through the year, how he averaged about 7.4/game the last 2.5 months of the year, how he added assists at the rim with a dump-behind pass over his shoulder, how he added assists from the pick and roll as Clifford and Mark Price taught him to stop always looking for his shots in these situations. How he relentlessly worked before and after practice to improve. He has the talent and desire to continue to improve his point guard play and I expect he will.

I'm sorry, dude, but you're just wrong about those guys being greedy, selfish players. Stats don't lie and greedy selfish players don't generate those kind of assist numbers.

And WTF about picking Detroit #5 and Bucks tied for #8 in the East? Bizarro.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 7, 2014 9:55:16 AM

^^^perfectly stated, but that is much too logical for this group to comprehend.

Posted by: Real | Sep 7, 2014 11:20:22 AM

Ben . Stats do lie . And as to Jefferson , they lie badly . If you had a penny for every time he was double teamed and missed a cutter or open teammate , you'd be rich . Pls stop posting general assists stats bc they're worthless . Worthless . He never passes out of double teams . Mkg can cut . Henderson after the break Took two threes a game on average and he can cut . Jefferson will not pass when doubled . Period the eye test tells you that . Kemba refuses to pass when he gets inside . He forces a ton of shots at the rim . He can't make assists at the rim passes as we see by tge eye test . No lobs , back doors or alley oops . Maybe one roller hit on a pick n roll a game . I will give you Lance . He makes the passes . But his teammates accused him of stat hunting which was the basis for the big ongoing lockeroom fight .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 7, 2014 12:35:00 PM

704. I know you're high on Biz . Show me one bb player that was that uncordinated w such terrible hands that got moderately better . Ever . One of the sites rating players addresses how disproportionately African bb players were cursed w below average hand eye coordination . Think Yinca Dare , Mutumbo and Manute Bol . Not one of them ever got better offensively . They were terrible from start to finish . The Dream was the exception . I guess you would include Ibaka too . There are some otter busts from there I can't think of who had poor hand eye coordination . Bizs hands have not gotten better . We saw that when the pt gd from the Bucks got here mid break . ( like ) He didnt know and went to Biz who fumbled them . You know they pulled him aside and told him don't throw Biz any passes unless point blank wide open under the rim . Even then , he fumbles some of those . Hen you're uncordinated like he and pres Obama are , no amount of reps will help .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 7, 2014 12:44:38 PM

Luke riddenour..

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 7, 2014 12:45:40 PM

Ben . The Pistons have a solid team . . They will find a partner to take Josh Smith and be even deeper . The owner will spend and wants to win big time . Van Gundy can coach an brought in shooters . The sg who was a rookie last yr is much better . Monroe is nice . Singlar is good . Jennings will be reeled in . And Drummond is a beast .

Kidd can really coach . He will make Knight a very good pt gd who can already play defense , run the pick n roll and get assists at the rim . They have Henson and Sanders who are nice . They have Parker and the Greek freak who are really nice . Kidd has a bench too . His owner will spend and Kidd knows who to go after . They won't tank . They also w Kidd know how to take all your strengths away . Wo Kidd , the Mavs don't win that yr . He's that smart . He turned Chandler into a serious weapon on offense that the Heat did not adjust to ( 5 point blank opportune lobs a game at the rim) . Both teams will make some noise bc neither will be tanking and they are close to 8 deep .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 7, 2014 1:07:05 PM

Josh Smith looks like poison to me. Jacking up all those threes with a horrible horrible %. There is your selfish egotistic player in spades. And he doesn't have the excuse of youth. And you want to bring him to Charlotte at $13.5 million a year?

14.1 PER is below NBA average. He could be an exceptional player if he passed more, stopped taking 3s completely, and didn't force shots.

We'll see if he's coachable or not, signs don't look good. It looks to me like he thinks he's Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony when he's just not.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 7, 2014 2:00:26 PM

If Biyombo's upside is Dikimbe Mutombo, I'd be thrilled. Dikimbe had a fantastic career. Elite defense paired with fair, limited offense had Dikimbe hit PER > 16 every year for the first 11 years of his career.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 7, 2014 2:07:04 PM

As predicted. Personal biases are too strong for any objectivity.

Posted by: Real | Sep 7, 2014 3:19:52 PM

Josh smith was not poison w Atlanta . He's playing out of position . When he has two huge centers starting w him , neither of which is a stretch 4 or 5 , he has to shoot from outside . He did jack threes too much in Atlanta too but don't y'all complain about Henderson for deferring to take arc shots ? Lol. Seriously . You put incentives in his contract and talk to him before he comes . This would be a huge upgrade at pf . He can score , pass defend and rebound . The Hornets would instantly become a top 3 team in the East . You guys talk about Smith but care less about the idiotic shots Kemba and Jefferson force when doubled . And when guys are wide open .

Diana Taurasi runs the pick n roll ten times better than Kemba . Ten times !!!! A girl !!!! Britney Griner plays ten times more on ball and help defense than Jefferson . If both played the right way , and you add Smith , they win the East !!!!!!! They are that good . You must keep Neal and Henderson tho to have a deep bench . Taylor , Neal , Henderson , Zeller , Vonleh , Hairston n Biz would be the deepest bench in the East . The Cavs need time and I think Kyrie may be overrated some . The Bulls have a seriously impaired Rose who is one lightening quick change of direction away from ending his career . Play the right way . Pass to cutters , assists at the rim , play some on ball and help defense and this team can murder teams . Let Bob Knight coach them for one week . One week w a stick in his hand . The whole culture will change .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 7, 2014 4:14:00 PM

only thing i'll throw into this mess of a "conversation" is that al's assist per game numbers are skewed by the number of touches he receives in comparison to other centers. the fact that he had more assists than deandre jordan (who only touches the ball on ally oops and offensive boards) doesn't change the fact that he doesn't pass a lot out of the post even when double teamed.

he did have some slick passes, but he absolutely is and was a black hole last year. the bigger gripe is definitely his defense, but he could definitely stand to move the ball more early in the shot clock and early in games to get other guys going. making the guys around you better is what makes the great guys great and what keeps him from being among them.

Posted by: charlottean | Sep 7, 2014 9:23:10 PM

Real .. To say that Jefferson has moved on here from being the black hole he was in Utah is an out n out joke . One of the biggest jokes . They need a stat which records how many times a player forces a shot out of a double team when a player is open . There were times Jefferson was on the floor w shooters playing w the second unit . He still did the same thing . But as I said , he could have called the wings to cut thru and handed it off . ( they stopped cutting hard ) . He could have hit the open man and yelled at them to shoot it if allegedly they were hesitant like Duncan does or others who want to stop being doubled . Duncan , James , Dirk , Shaq all have rings and were doubled . They all were willing passers ESP out of doubles . It's frustrating and hugely demoralizing when players do not pass to open players . The reluctant shooter bs is is simply bs . Everyone will make and take a layup when wide open . Shooting comes from confidence . You lose it standing around w Jefferson and the dump policy . I've seen him interfere w the touches guys finally get . Both wings dribble drive but he camps out on the left side never to move or worse , screen . Hayward was never coming here . He was sick of the bs in Utah . He used Jefferson to get an offer . Then you have Kemba forcing and never facilitating at the rim . These are lost opportunities for easy buckets other players get on other teams . Yeah I'm bias . I'm partial towards total team play to build the team out . High usesage gunning and forcing will never get you far or as far as you can go . If that skews objectivity , then tuff . But you better go back and learn a few things about objectivity before you bring it up again .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 8, 2014 5:30:56 AM

Henderson will be gone by the break bc a top team will come calling due to injury or bc Cho will get real and move him not to lose him . He will flourish under a team that moves the ball , has a pass first pt gd who gets players easy buckets and a big who screens , hands off and passes out of doubles . The wings flourish under such a game . But Mkg will be stuck here . He can handle . His jumper will take time to develop if ever . But the crime is not giving him a setting to allow him to flourish now . Flashes into the post w a timely entry pass , turn him loose on the break instead of Kemba walking the ball up . Lobs . Alley oops . Handoffs from the center off hard cuts . Back doors . High ball screens off or isos off the mid post extended . Teach him how to use the glass which precludes the impact of the hitch . But I'm biased . W zero objectivity bc it ain't happening here w Jefferson , Kemba or under Clifford . Anyone that has a problem w playing real winning bb , go jump in the lake . Take Jefferson and Kemba w you . One day , maybe soon , Cho will get slicked out of Mkg . This will be his undoing when he shines elsewhere .

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 8, 2014 9:14:22 AM

Ot .. The Hawks owner wanted to find ways to fill up the arena . His choice of words was poor but who wouldn't want to add another attract another group to fill seats ? And can you blame him for wanting to change out the Rap music ? I wouldn't . If I were President , the first order of business is that it be banned . Lol.

Posted by: Iron man | Sep 8, 2014 11:35:03 AM

2014 All-NBA (centers)

1. Joakim Noah
2. Dwight Howard
3. Al Jefferson

"making the guys around you better is what makes the great guys great and what keeps him from being among them." (referencing Big Al)

So, how do we reconcile the list above with the statement below?

Is it a situation where the only 2 "great" centers in the NBA are Dwight and Joakim?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 8, 2014 11:36:22 AM

Iron man, interesting observation on your 11.35am post.

Part and parcel to that, out of curiosity I went to the Boobs website to assess the breakdown in Boobland from an employee perspective and clicked on the "team" link...

...while I was interested in staffing breakdown for some reason I clicked on "roster" first...

...and once again, was presented with a prime example of why the Boobs are, well, the Boobs...

...smack in the middle of the top row who is smiling at me...

...none other than Chris Douglas-Roberts (right next to Punch Drunk in his Carolina uniform).

Boobs can't even get the little things right....

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 8, 2014 12:39:28 PM

For those who don't know, CDR's employment with the Boobs ended with the Heat series and the a Clippers signed him last week.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 8, 2014 12:41:36 PM

"al's assist per game numbers are skewed by the number of touches he receives in comparison to other centers. the fact that he had more assists than deandre jordan (who only touches the ball on ally oops and offensive boards) doesn't change the fact that he doesn't pass a lot out of the post even when double teamed."

Sure, the per/game figure is inflated compared to some of his competition because he plays a lot of minutes and gets the ball on offense so much. On an assist per/48 minute basis he ties for 11th most prolific assist man among centers. Not bad.

Not a lot of offensively dominant centers to compare him to, but take DeMarcus Cousins, who dominates the ball as much or even more than Big Al. DeMarcus does collect fractionally more assists than Al at 2.9/game vs. 2.1, but he also turns the ball over far more at 3.5/game last year compared to Al's 1.7.

I'll take Al's numbers in that comparison any day.

Al was far and away the best offensive option for the Hornets last year, so you can't exactly blame him or Clifford for his taking shots when he got it on the block. His solid FG% last year even when the subject of constant double teaming shows he wasn't exactly making a lot of bad decisions.

I'm not arguing he's an elite passer or anything, just that, given how extremely limited offensively the Bobcats were last year, his assist numbers don't support the claim that he is an egotistical selfish ball-hog.

Here are highlights from a Detroit game last year with Jefferson racking up 6 assists ... sure doesn't look selfish to me.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 8, 2014 1:27:54 PM

Dwight Howard has a high usage %, not quite as high as Al's last year, but still high. Howard averaged 1.8 assists/game and 3.2 turnovers/game. Al looks great on that comparison.

There are very few centers who are notably better passers than Al. Pretty much Joakim Noah and Marc Gasol. That's it.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 8, 2014 1:37:48 PM

Adding Lance to the starting five gives the Hornets three legitimate 3-point threats among the starters between him, Kemba and Marvin. None great shooters, but all pretty good.

It's going to be a lot easier for Al to find an open, accurate and willing three point shooter in the coming year. If those guys can do as well as last year, and hopefully improve incrementally, that's going to spread the floor, giving room for MKG to cut to the basket. I expect Al's passing game will continue it's late career improvement.

Gerald could be awesome as sixth man, if he accepts the challenge and doesn't sulk. I hope he can build on the modest success he had the last couple years from 3-point range. He still has some good potential, especially if he can reliably hit 35% or better from three and is willing to take them when open. Maybe getting demoted will fire him up like we've seen him at times in the past.

Barring major injury, especially to Big Al, this team is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 8, 2014 2:52:55 PM


I'm not sure who would win between US and Spain. I haven't caught any of the FIBA games so far. I tuned in a couple times and every time we were up 15-20 points so I turned. All I know is what I heard which is very little but I heard somewhere tv or ESPN that Spain is the favorite outside of the US. I'm thinking US will win, I don't know Spains roster outside of Gasol and Ibaka.

I think the 4 favorites to win the Chip are Spurs, OKC, Cavs, and Bulls. I'd throw Mav's and Grizzlies in to seeing as they are built for the playoffs but the main 4 are definitely OKC, Spurs, Cavs, and Bulls.

My East rankings for the playoffs would be based on tiers are:

1st and 2nd seed Bulls and Cavs.

2nd-6th seed Toronto, Washington, Charlotte, Miami

7th-8th seed Atlanta, Detroit, Knicks, Brooklyn

Team names are only in tiers other then that they aren't in any particular order.
I think even with out Lance and just the additions of Roberts, and Marvin, along with improvements from our young guys, and additions to our defense from Coach we would have been going for the 5th-8th seed and a playoff lock already. With Lance our range is 3rd seed and division title to 6th or 7th seed at the worst.

I don't think we have to worry about our offense. I think if it's not broke you don't need to fix it. We were one of the best teams in the league from January on to the end of the season. From the time we got Neal on we had the 14th best offense in the league and the 6th best defense. This season at the worst we'll have a top 15 offense and top 10 defense, and most likely we'll be a top 15 offense and top 5 defense. Our playoff spot is guaranteed unless Big Al or Kemba gets injured. We added more shooting this off season, Kemba and Big Al already know how to play together, we have a legit 3rd option now, a real second ball handler, more spacing in the starting unit, and a better closing unit. We got better in every way this year.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 8, 2014 3:13:07 PM

Ray Rice situation pretty unreal... Anyone think the elevator incident was the one and only time Ray abused a woman?

Makes me wonder about...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 8, 2014 3:13:14 PM

"Josh smith was not poison w Atlanta . He's playing out of position... He did jack threes too much in Atlanta too but don't y'all complain about Henderson for deferring to take arc shots ? Lol. Seriously . You put incentives in his contract and talk to him before he comes . This would be a huge upgrade at pf . He can score , pass defend and rebound . The Hornets would instantly become a top 3 team in the East . You guys talk about Smith but care less about the idiotic shots Kemba and Jefferson force when doubled . And when guys are wide open ."

Jefferson's field goal % speaks for itself, as does his assist and turnover numbers. I don't know why anyone would complain about Jefferson's performance on offense last year.

I do complain about Kemba's forced shots, but he showed clear progress over the course of last year in passing the ball rather than forcing shots, and he's a very young player still, so I like to think he will continue to improve.

Josh Smith should know better at this stage in his career. It really is a big red flag. I agree he'll probably rebound from the relatively low PER he had last year, but he would only come to Charlotte at a very high cost and I don't think it's worth it.

Posted by: BenjaminG | Sep 8, 2014 3:18:19 PM

3:29pm...CDR still listed/pictured in Boobs 2014/2015 roster, Punchy still in his Carolina uniform. Didn't he get kicked off that team?

LOL...the Boobs, never fail to fumble it on virtually every level...LOL.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 8, 2014 3:30:44 PM

I see our big 3 as a guy in Big Al who is our #1 option and our best player. A guy who should get 17-20 shots per game and who can make shots at a clip of over 50% on a double team on a game by game basis. A guy who is a lock for the All star game next year, and will have the chance to put up and even better season next year, and should post stats around 20-24 ppg 10-11 rpg 2-3 apg 51-54%fg and maybe make another All NBA team.

I see Kemba as a guy who is willing to sacrifice his game for the betterment of the team. I think this because he showed through actions in the past. #1 Last season coach made Kemba play off ball for the first couple months of the season and had Sessions and Mcroberts running the majority of the plays. Kemba played off ball from the start of the season until the beginning of January. He was very good off ball posting stats of 21.5 ppg 5.4 apg and 4.4 rpg on 45.8% fg and 42.6% 3 pt from the field in that month. Once January came around we slowly started moving Kemba back on the ball, and once Sessions was gone he had full control. Once Kemba got put on the ball his whole game changed and he started actually playing like a point guard, the majority of his shots after this became bail out shots, and no one else on the team wants to shot so I guess I got to shots. His assits rose to 6.3 Jan, 7.3 Feb,7.5 March, and 8.2 in April. Kemba's percentages dropped greatly over this course because his mindset changed he went from looking for his shot 1st to looking solely for the pass, and shooting if he couldn't find a pass. His shots also dropped because teams realized we had two big reasons for winning #1 Big Al and #2 Kemba. They realized they couldn't stop Big Al no matter what they did so they started trapping and Doubling Kemba. It took Kemba a while to figure this out but by the end of the season he did. Kemba also showed his will to sacrifice his role when we signed Lance stephenson, when the talked to Kemba he said it was a good signing and talked about how Lance was the perfect fit and said Lance will be our closer. That IMO is big because Kemba has a reputation of being clutch and really enjoys being our closer, yet he gave that position to Lance after all of a couple days of Lance being signed.

With Lance I see a guy, who is a perfect fit for the team, a 3rd option who has the potential to be the 2nd option over time. A guy who fits the starting lineup better then Hendo with his 3 point shot, and his ability to handle the ball. A guy who can bring the ball up court, a guy who can potentially run the 2nd unit from time to time similar to mcbob, a guy who will want to score and will, a guy who can create for others and will, added depth, and a very good defender. He has the potential to be star, is a very good rebounder, and our starting 5 will be a very good rebounding squad with Big Al, MKG, and Lance all being above average rebounders. Lance isn't ball dominant, he had a usage rating of 19.4 percent last year, compared to Hendo's 22.1.
Lance will have his usage increased this year by taking Hendo's role plus taking some of Mcroberts role.

I think these 3 are going to fit perfectly. Lance will have to adjust to not having as many shots at the rim similar to how Kemba and Hendo did, but he will. He was brought in because of his skill set. Lance will shoot 3.5-4 3's per game. We will likely see him playing in the 2nd unit some, he won't always play with Big Al, and he'll likely have a lot of transition opportunities this year. Kemba said having Lance will allow him chances to run in transition since Lance can bring the ball up the court, the same will be true for Lance. Lance will have plenty of opportunities to play a big role this season. Hendo last season started the season strong sropping 15 per over the first couple months on around 14 shots per, then as the season went on dropped his shots down to 12-13 per and was scoring 10-11 per for the last 3 months of the season. He passed up a lot of open 3's this season, and a lot of scoring opportunities we'll see Lance take.

Stat projections for Big 3:
Kemba 15-19 ppg 6.5-7.5 apg 3.5-4.0 rpg 13-15 fga's per 42-42% fg 34-35% 3pt 1.5-1.8 3pt made per

Lance 15-18 ppg 4-6 apg 5-6 rpg 13-15 fga's per 43-46% fg 34-36% 3 pt 1.2-16 3 pt made per

Big Al 20-24 ppg 2-3 apg 9-11 rpg 17-20 fga's per 51-54% fg

Our Big 3 last season took 46.6 out of our teams 81.1 FGA's per game.

I'm prjecting our big 3 to take any where from 43 to 50 FGA's per.

Throught out our best stretch of the season Feb, March, and April we averaged 82.4, 83.7, and 83 FGA's per game. This season we'll see something similar along with a Top 15 offense and a Top 5 defense. We'll also see Kemba/Lance be one of the best back courts in the league, through statistical production, and must watch effect. We should also see Lance and Big Al make the All Star game this year. Lance based on good play and the SG position being so weak, and Big Al because outside of him and Noah who else is there right now.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 8, 2014 3:56:15 PM

They have this article on Atthehive right now questioning if MKG really needs to get a jump shot to hit his peak. They quote some book from an author I can't think of who or what the book was but they ask would it be better for MKG to focus on getting a junp shot and becoming an average player or working on his strengths and becoming elite at those. I say this because Biz has some close to elite skills already. As of today he is one of the better rim protectors in the league holding opponents to 39% at the rim, he is one of the better shot blockers in the NBA blocking 1.1 shots per 13.9 mpg this season and having a career average of 1.7 or 1.8 per game and he also is a very good rebounder pulling down around 4.8-4.9 rebounds in 13.9 minutes of play per.

One thing I like about Cliff is he said something similar last year. His philosophy of limiting guys roles to fit their strengths in order to get the most out of them, and slowly increasing their role is perfect for Biz. Biz has bad hands and doesn't have any where near the highest basket ball iq is true. He can learn through repetitions basic things though, such as better positioning himself on defense and offense, along with gaining a better feel around the rim. Remember Biz just turned 22 on the 26th of last month. Think Ben Wallace didn't even come into the league until he was 22.

Ben Wallace
3rd season 6 ppg 8.3 rpg 2 bpg 1.1 spg .4 apg .8 topg AGE 24 mpg 26.8

4th season 4.8 ppg 8.2 rpg 1.6 bpg .9 spg .8 apg .8 topg AGE 25 mpg 24.2

Biz 2nd season 4.8 ppg 7.8 rpg 1.8 bpg .4 spg .4 apg 1.0 topg AGE 20 mpg 27.3

Ben Wallce never scored more then 9.7 ppg in a season, he had 2 seasons of 9 ppg or more. Ben Wallace didn't become Ben Wallace until the age of 27 when he hit his prime. Ben Wallace averaged 5.7 ppg for his career.

Now Biz will never be able to duplicate Ben Wallace but he can do something similar in his prime in a few years under the right circumstances if he just continues to improve his strengths Blocking shots/Rim Protection/ and Rebounding.

Biz's lack of coordination will hinder a lot of things, but his defense/rebounding/rim protection/ and blocks won't be effected.

Posted by: HornetsCBack704 | Sep 8, 2014 4:22:14 PM

Finally someone that has time to post legitimate analysis based in fact. NASTAR and Iron Man getting awfully quiet. You know it is bad when NASTAR turns his attention to CDR still being on the team website. LMAO.

Posted by: Real | Sep 8, 2014 4:30:36 PM


In his first 3 seasons Ben only started 32 of 147 games played -- yet he continually progressed.

In his first 3 seasons Fumblerooski started 116 games of 220 games played -- yet he continues to make the same mistakes. (resulting in a 50% cut in playing time year 3/year 2)

Beginning in year 4 Ben started every game for the next 11 years for 5 different franchises -- 777 straight games.

There's zero chance Biz develops like Ben.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Sep 8, 2014 4:37:37 PM

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