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Turning Hornets into cohesive unit isn't 'quick fix,' coach Borrego says
0-2 in preseason after loss to Miami
 
Published Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10:42 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | TROY HULL
Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego, center, understands building a winning culture isn't an easy fix.

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James Borrego’s four pillars were nowhere to be found Wednesday.

The Charlotte Hornets second-year head coach laid out what he called for the program to follow this season: competing every night, player development, establishing identity and winning habits. The result? Charlotte dropped to 0-2 in preseason play with a 108-94 loss to Miami. While preseason games are a dress rehearsal for the regular season opener at Spectrum Center against Chicago on Oct. 23, the inconsistency between Sunday’s one-point loss in Boston and tonight’s blowout loss to the Heat leaves much to be desired.

“I feel like the competition part, which is the very first one, that’s something that we can control every night,” said forward Marvin Williams, who scored two points, two assists and two boards against Miami.

For Borrego, the remaining five preseason games give him the opportunity to evaluate how they will approach opening night, as well as the season itself.

“Number one, we have to compete,” Borrego said. “I’ve gotta evaluate that—individually see who competed, who raised their level tonight? I’m not sure consistently throughout our group we did that tonight. That’s up to me and our staff to hold this group accountable to competing every night.”

Borrego emphasized prior to preseason that player development was for the entire team, from rookies through veterans like Williams.

“Obviously player development, whether you’re developing a young guy or older guy like myself who is still trying to get better, it’s going to take time,” Williams said. “You’re introducing new things. Things that you may not be comfortable with doing. Things that are going to take some repetition to get better at. It’s a process.”

However, Charlotte is also incorporating numerous new faces as well as younger players. From second- and third-year forwards Miles Bridges and Dwayne Bacon potentially seeing significant minutes to 2019 first-round draft pick forward P.J. Washington finding his footing, to a new point guard in Terry Rozier, the Hornets have plenty of moving parts.

Not only is Rozier adapting to his role as a first-time starter, but an entirely new organization that has not made the playoffs since 2015-16. As the floor general, he will play a vital role in how quickly the Hornets create winning habits and their identity.

“I don’t have all the answers—I’ll be the first to tell you,” said Rozier (18 points and four boards). “I’m just trying to figure everybody out—get everybody on the same page. Communicating with guys. It’s early, but this is the time to learn, right now. This is the time to get better and get better on the same page through these preseason games. We just control what we can control, and just every day keep working at it.”

Said Borrego: “There’s been some good things throughout this camp the last week and a half. We’ve just gotta keep doing it. Stay with it. This isn’t a quick fix. We’re in this for the long haul.”

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