I must admit, after hearing that the Hornets hired James Borrego as their new head coach, I was a little disappointed in the selection. But after Friday's press conference, I think he may be just what this team needs in the situation they are in.
Here are 3 points he hit today that should make Hornets fans at least give him a chance to show what he can do.
In the next 3 years, Nic Batum is owed $76 million. In other words, Nic will be here for a while so might as well get the most out of him and Borrego may be the key.
"I value a player like Nic," said the new Hornets head coach at his introductory presser today. "From afar in San Antonio, that's the type of player we look at. A guy who can facilitate, unselfish, can make plays for others, can shoot the ball. I have some ideas and thoughts to move him around the offense but with his size and play making ability, he's attractive to me. He's going to have my vision for him and he's going to maximize that."
Because of the salary cap situation this team finds itself in, there is not much flexibility to go out and get players to change this roster. But there is a lot of untapped talent on this roster that Borrego will have to hit the right combination and get the most out of.
"This is our group and we're moving forward with it," said Borrego. "Our biggest room for growth is internal."
He specifically mentions the growth of young players like Malik Monk, Dwayne Bacon, Frank Kaminsky, Willy Hernangomez, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the key to this franchise's future. Yes, MKG! He's been in the league for 5 years, but is still only 24. There is still a lot of untapped talent in the former Kentucky star.
"There's a group of young guys that after this summer should take a major leap. If they take a major leap our roster changes significantly."
Style of play
Borrego admitted that defense is one of his main principles. Sound familiar right. Former Hornets coach Steve Clifford stated the same. So this squad will already be willing to accept that, but Borrego also has a bigger plan for the offense including shooting more three pointers.
"You're going to see a fast-paced team that's going to get up and down the floor," said Borrego. "We want to be one of the most efficient teams in transition, the first five to eight seconds and there is a roster here in place that can play this style, right now. To do that, to play the style we want to play offensively you've got to defend. We're going to take away the three-point line, protect the rim and not foul. So you should see an exciting brand of basketball. Exciting doesn't equal wins, but I believe it's this style that maximizes our roster, it fits today's NBA style, and it gives us the best chance to win moving forward.
Borrego comes from the Gregg Popovich coaching tree but admits, he doesn't come with some magic pixie dust that will fix everything right way. But he certainly should be given the chance to work his magic and try and turn the Hornets into a contender in the East.