The Hornets snapped a four game losing streak as Stephen Silas filled in and Kemba Walker returned.
The Hornets kicked off four straight home games with a win over the Orlando Magic Monday night. Here is a roundup of stories recapping the win, and more. Before diving in, be sure to read a recap of last night’s game from our friends over at At The Hive.
Stephen Silas fills in
Associate head coach Stephen Silas filled in for head coach Steve Clifford, who was out due to illness. Silas is an experienced NBA assistant, but as he told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, adjusting to head coach on short notice isn’t easy.
“(Clifford) is always so prepared for every instance, every game, so today was a lot of study,” Silas said pregame. “Usually I’ll watch (an opponent’s) game and kind of gloss through it if it’s not my game plan. (Scouting responsibilities for the other 29 NBA teams are shared by the assistants.) Today I spent a lot more time delving into the stats, delving into our team, and being prepared for late-game situations. It was a long day.”
Silas filled in as head coach for his dad Paul Silas during the infamous Bobcats 7-59 season. While invaluable experience, those opportunities were planned well in advance, giving the younger Silas a chance to fully prepare. Last night was more of an on the fly job, but Silas handled it well and helped Charlotte snap a four game losing streak.
Walker shines in return, and Kaminsky steps up in first half
Making his job easier was Kemba Walker, who returned after missing two games. Walker finished with 29 points, going 14-for-14 from the free throw line. Walker’s importance is obvious, but as Bonnell points out, the combined play of Jeremy Lamb and Frank Kaminsky helped a lot. In particular, Kaminsky played a vital role in the first half when the rest of the team was struggling to make shots:
“He made five of 10 shots in the first half, when the Hornets were otherwise bad shooters (17-of-44 from the field).”
Kaminsky provides the Hornets with needed scoring off the bench, just not consistently enough. When he’s confident, as he was last night, he can fill it up quickly.
Nazr Mohammed’s return to the NBA
Former Bobcats center Nazr Mohammed published a piece for The Player’s Tribune announcing his return to the NBA in a front office role. Mohammed played 18 seasons in the NBA, winning a championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005. He last played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and it is with OKC that he will serve as, “professional evaluation scout/identification and intelligence,” a title Mohammed admits is “a mouthful.” The job sounds like an advisory role where he will serve the front office how they see fit, while he will get, as he states, “a full education in all of the little details needed to make a front office tick.”
After a year of retirement spent chaeffuring his family around and golfing, Mohammed is excited to be involved in the NBA again:
“I see my new position as a chance to be a student in the Business of Basketball 101. That’s the best part of my new job. I love to be a sponge, soaking up new things about the game of basketball. It almost feels like I’m going back to college. Studying, taking notes, asking questions, and learning new terminology, lingo and processes.”
He hopes to one day become a full general manager, but admits that is a little ways off, acknowledging a lot more goes into the job than many realize. But if that’s his goal, this is a great starting position for him. He can learn in a smaller role instead of jumping into a position without enough experience.