“It’s a mathematical equation. You can’t make everyone play. But they will all be ready when the opportunity presents itself. And it’s my job as a head coach, to actively move them forward so that when I call on them, they rise to the occasion most of the time ”.
Authors of a good start to the season, the Hornets have so far distinguished themselves by the diversity of their weapons. While Gordon Hayward is supposed to be the main threat to the attacking team, many lieutenants have shown their nuisance abilities over the course of games, from Miles Bridges, author of a thunderous start to the season, to Terry Rozier without. forget LaMelo Ball or the last comer, Kelly Oubre Jr, who remains over three games more than 20 points off the bench.
The art of managing a group to get the best out of it
As for the « less prestigious » rotations, James Borrego tries to operate in the same way by giving everyone a chance, out of necessity or out of opportunity. The goal remains the same, namely to keep everyone involved.
This is how Nick Richards was given more playing time, an adjustment necessary to compensate for the absence of Mason Plumlee on the last game lost in Houston. As for the opportunities, James Borrego strummed according to the profiles, between the shooter Jalen McDaniels, the versatility of PJ Washington in the painting, the leech Cody Martin, but also the regular replacement of LaMelo Ball at the lead, Ish Smith, solid rotation during the first weeks of the season, much less used since.
« It has become something normal with the guys, you just have to communicate with them », explained James Borrego. “They’re not always going to agree with you or like what you say. But the first thing to do in this league is to communicate and be honest with them. It’s just about managing people. We call it coaching, but it’s just the management of individuals. And that’s what we’re trying to do. I try to do my best to communicate before the game, after the game, and if there is or if there is uncertainty, we face it. We now have a number of players and a few rookies who would love to play and I can’t get them to play. It’s just the reality right now and it’s good. This is where we are in this process and we are going to get out of it. It’s a long season, but it’s a good problem to have. It shows our depth of membership. There are a number of guys who are ready to play ”.
Outside of rookies Kai Jones and James Bouknight, everyone has contributed to the successful start of the Michael Jordan franchise season. By his profile and especially his globetrotter side (12th franchise, an NBA record), Ish Smith is perhaps the best placed to approach this rotation, and the need for everyone to be ready.
“You always have to be ready. I hope this is an example of what a professional player is. We are always in the process of perfecting ourselves. When the coach gives me a lot of playing time, I have to do what I can do, like I did earlier in the season. When you come into play, you give rhythm, you defend… You do your best to get the coach to call you again ”, did he declare.
Cody Martin, the symbol of the always ready player
If there is one who does what it takes to curry favor with the coach, it is Cody Martin, the winger acting as a disruptor in defense in addition to showing opportunism in attack. .
“Every time he’s on the pitch, he has an impact on victory, through his defense, his rebound work, his way of pulling off actions at will, by snatching undecided balls, by doing the right thing. happening at the right time, without having to touch it. He has this instinct to do actions that impact victory. It’s a major part of what we’re trying to do here ”, recently confided James Borrego.
Gordon Hayward also wanted to pay tribute to his bravest soldiers who must manage a rather complicated situation in the end, without knowing until the last moment what role each will play depending on the opponent.
« I think it’s the most difficult thing to do in the NBA: to be in this situation where you don’t play one game and where the coach makes you play the next one », he estimated. “There is obviously Kelly, but also Nick, Jalen and Ish. Cody Martin has been awesome to us all year too. I don’t think people understand how hard it is to do this. Mentally, physically, you have to be there, be ready. You may not even enter the game in the end. So they are doing very well. We really have to congratulate them ”.
|Kelly Oubre, Jr.||22||26.9||43.9||37.0||69.0||1.3||2.8||4.0||0.9||0.9||0.8||0.3||2.5||14.7|
|Vernon Carey, Jr.||1||0.8||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.0||1.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|