Hornets coach Clifford believes a Top 5 defense will propel the team into the post-season. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
Hornets coach Clifford believes a Top 5 defense will propel the team into the post-season. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Hornets

Shorter preseason won’t cause Steve Clifford to rush Charlotte Hornets’ process

October 01, 2017 7:02 PM

The NBA has gone to a shorter preseason with fewer exhibition games. But that won’t change how Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford uses these first two exhibitions in Boston and Detroit.

“It will be hard to do it a lot different than we have before,” Clifford said at practice Sunday. “We’re just trying to get organized. The first two games won’t be much different than last year.”

The Hornets play the Celtics at TD Garden Monday at 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV). They play the Pistons Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the new Little Caesars Arena. Clifford will do a lot of mixing and matching lineups on this trip.

“Use it as a practice – an evaluation tool,” Clifford said. “You have to move at a pace that physically and mentally they can handle it. We have a good group, we’ve done a lot, but you’re going to do the same things (you’ve practiced) against another team. That’s it.”

“By game 3 and 4, we’ll get to more (of a core rotation), but guys just aren’t ready to do much more than they did before” in a week of training camp at Spectrum Center.

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