|Hornets can't stand success, and coach Clifford isn't happy about it|
|Late collapse sinks Charlotte in loss to Heat|
|Published Saturday, January 20, 2018 10:00 pm|
The Charlotte Hornets are a 2-1 team to coach Steve Clifford.
Their 106-105 loss to Miami exposed flaws that allow them to occasionally produce results, but typically reflect a team under .500 at 18-26.
“We played a great third, and we absolutely butchered the fourth quarter—just butchered it, starting with the first two possessions,” Clifford said.
Charlotte led 83-73 going into the fourth, but allowed Miami to go on a 6-0 run in the first two minutes, missing on three possessions in the process.
Forward Kelly Olynyk made Charlotte pay for their mistakes, scoring 14 points in the fourth, and drawing the game-deciding foul with 0.2 seconds left.
“The first play on Olynyk, mistake. Stuff we went over yesterday and today,” Clifford said. “Second play on Olynyk, mistake and it goes from 10 to four- [point lead].”
Clifford did not say anything to the players following the loss, but firmly articulated that nights like this are what make them mediocre.
“That’s what you get,” he said. “We made some mistakes late—a couple turnovers. That game should have been a 10- or 15-point win if we defend the way we’re supposed to. I’d say in the fourth quarter alone we made six or seven mistakes on stuff that was covered yesterday, worked on live, and then we did it again this morning, and that’s how you become a team that wins two and loses one. Just total lack of concentration, intensity, technique and understanding who the hell you’re playing against. It’s terrible, terrible. It’s disappointing, and it’s gotta change.”
Said guard Nic Batum: “At 12:01 p.m., forget about it and move on.”
Charlotte stands 5-3 in January and 1-1 since Clifford’s return against the Wizards on Wednesday. He missed a month and a half on medical leave due to headaches, which kept him from sleeping.
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