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March 25, 2015

Charlotte Hornets' Steve Clifford: Al Jefferson won't be 100% rest of season

            Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford believes center Al Jefferson’s right knee soreness will linger the rest of the season.

            “Al is not going to be 100 percent here the rest of the year. He is just not,” Clifford said at shootaround Wednesday morning.

            Clifford pulled Jefferson in the second half of Monday’s road loss to the Chicago Bulls. Jefferson wanted to keep playing in what was then a close game, but Clifford was more worried about the long haul.

“The other night he was limping. He feels better today but it is going to be game-to-game with him,” Clifford said. “He doesn’t want to sit, he wants to play through it, so we just have to read it.”

            Jefferson had a groin strain earlier this season that knocked him out for several games. His playoff series last season against the Miami Heat was short-circuited by a plantar-fascia injury.

“I told him in the third quarter I don’t want to have another thing like last season where you missed three week, so I’m not putting you back in,” Clifford recalled. “He argued a little bit because we were right there. But when I see him limping around, I go back to last time. We can’t afford to lose him for three weeks.”

Jefferson isn’t the only Hornets big man who is injured. Power forward Cody Zeller will miss his third consecutive game with a sprained right shoulder.

“No Cody,” Clifford said. “Jason Maxiel is pretty beaten up, too, but he doesn’t want to sit. It’s that time of year.”

China trip: Some additional details emerged Wednesday morning regarding the Hornets’ trip to China next preseason for two exhibitions against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Hornets will have training camp at Time Warner Cable Arena next season, rather than return to UNC-Asheville, to cut down on travel. Also the NBA grants teams playing overseas additional training-camp days to compensate for the time lost to international travel.

Clifford twice was an assistant coach on teams that played in China in the preseason – with the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic.

“It’s different. It will definitely play into September” preparations, Clifford said. “But the experience, as far as representing the NBA and the things you get to see, is a neat thing.”

Clifford said it’s easy to single out the best memory from those trips.

“Of anything I’ve ever seen, the Great Wall of China was wow,” Clifford said. “The players still talk about it.”

Posted by Observer Sports on March 25, 2015 at 01:27 PM | Permalink


It just keeps getting better....

Posted by: TheRealJD | Mar 25, 2015 2:02:32 PM

Fragile Al is hurt again is this even newsworthy. Thanks for your contributions Al but unfortunately your body has broken down on you...translation...please opt out this summer

Posted by: doo doo brown | Mar 25, 2015 4:19:46 PM

Im disappointed to hear that we are losing Mark Price this year, I was really hoping he was going to teach Kemba how to shoot this summer

Posted by: doo doo brown | Mar 25, 2015 4:20:50 PM

The Hornets are now struck with Al. There is no way he will opt out this summer and no team is going want to trade for an injury prone player.

Posted by: Jon | Mar 25, 2015 4:24:22 PM

Yeah we can only dream at this point. At least we can probably rule out an extension. Silver lining?

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 25, 2015 4:58:55 PM

Clifford's contract guaranteed through 15-16.

Kemba resigns for 4 more years.

Injury prone Al can opt back in , 13 mil

Cody still hurt , is there more going on with this they're not telling?

Price jumps ship.

Digging a hole that will take years to get out.

Posted by: ROCK | Mar 25, 2015 5:00:53 PM

@ doo doo Brown- Kemba knows how to shoot, he's just too short to get his shot over nba size defenders.

@ Charlottean - I'd love to think an AJ extension is ruled out; but after giving Walker $48,000,000.... I wouldn't place any bets on it.

Posted by: the Dude | Mar 25, 2015 5:18:37 PM

Nastar told you lemmings how it was going to be...

...and he was right.

Roll in the mud with pigs and you're going to get dirty and the Bobcats brass are a bunch of pigs who will never succeed.

Posted by: Nastar Told You Fools | Mar 25, 2015 9:55:11 PM

Clifford poor coaching on full display tonite!
How about going a little defense offense at the end of the game Clifford.
Why not put Biz and Marvin in the game for defense?
Clifford Kemba, MKG, Hendo, Mo, and Al are not going to keep anyone from getting to basket! Al is not a rim protector when he is healthy.

Posted by: Kathy Carr | Mar 25, 2015 11:33:27 PM

very true re: kemba's extension.

clifford and al get extensions, i'm losing the homer label, jumping ship until management changes and grabbing a new team. i'm thinking maybe indiana, maybe minnesota. but more probably philadelphia who basically rewrote the book on how to rebuild. they are about to have the starting 5 for the eastern conference all-star team in about 3 years.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 26, 2015 8:28:39 AM

Clifford must be fired . He has yet to accountability out of Al , Kemba , mo and Lance who all force shots w teamates open ? He can't get them to buy into team ball all game every set . They only play team ball when down .

Al gets doubled , holds the ball , misses a cutter inside , puts his head into the chest of a defender and forces a miss . Kemba overdribbles , bull rushes the rim , draws two but forces a miss . Or looks off an open TEAMATE on breaks and half ct sets . Lance n Mo lol off teamates . They at least get you later but that's after getting you in a hole .

Clifford never says anything about this and looks the other way . It keeps us in holes . They don't respect him , themselves , the fans or the game . Clifford doesn't respect the game or the rest of the players he coaches who suffer . He has to go . Case closed . It was the same last yr . He can't handle part time ball hogs .

Posted by: ironman | Mar 26, 2015 9:01:13 AM

Kemba . 4 for 13 . He's shot in the thirties in all of the last 6 games he's bern back . Mo . 2 for 10 . Lance 1 for 8 . These guys won't stop shooting . They shoot badly bc they're rushing to get shots off That they should be passing . It's accountibility .

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