The Hornets have one of the best open-court decision makers and scoring forces in the league in Chris Paul.
Yet the Hornets did not run under Byron Scott. They played at the 28th fastest pace in the league (of the 30 teams) Scott’s first year. After that their pace ranking still was never fast: 21, 23, 26, 28. Under Jeff Bower that jumped to 15 last year.
New Hornets coach Monty Williams said at his press conference yesterday he wants to play to the team’s strengths and get out and run more.
“We want to play efficiently fast, but we also want to play from the inside out…” Williams said in videos from his press conference on Hornets.com. “We have to have some structure to that, but I need to trust Chris [Paul] and Darren [Collison] to do their thing.”
He also was quick to say that you don’t get to run without defense, something the Hornets have to do better, he said.
“I feel like David [West] and Emeka [Okafor] got a lot of flak for giving up a lot of paint points and post points this year. That’s not necessarily the case in my view,” Williams said. “Defense starts with ball pressure and keeping the ball out of the paint until the bigs can get into a position to help.”
Some pace and defense could have the Hornets back in the playoffs next season. Which is a first step.