Hornets Coach Rips Into Team After OT Loss

The Charlotte Hornets are getting off to a slow start to the season. Their current record stands at 7-21. They went without their star guard LaMelo Ball for the first 13 games and the last 11 games before last night. After a tough loss in overtime to the Detroit Pistons, Head coach Steve Clifford ripped into the team.

The NBA is a tough business for a coach. One of the main reasons a team can be successful is the coach, but it can also be the scapegoat if a team is struggling. It is rare that a coach voices their frustration over the effort of the team publicly. In this case, Clifford did not hold back.

The Hornets lost to the Pistons in overtime. It was a close game throughout the contest, but the Pistons pulled away at the end to get the win. In the post-game conference, the Hornets Coach blatantly said, "until we care about something besides how many points we score, we're not going to win much." He later added that no defense was being played, "Not one guy. There's not a bright spot."
He's not wrong. The Hornets are ranked 25th in the league in team defensive ranking. Last night they gave up 141 points, defense was definitely not played. What makes matters worse is they are not that great in offensive rating either, ranking dead last in the league. 

On one end, part of the reason Charlotte is struggling is the inconsistency in their lineups and having to deal with injuries. However, it is also coaching that has an effect on how the team plays. Clifford is in his second stint with the team, after coaching the Hornets from 2013-2018. During that time he was known as a coach that could instill a defensive mentality and at one point had the team top five in defense. 

Clifford has tried 25 different lineups to try and get the team motivated on both offense and defense. That could be the main reason, but the effort is not a stat that needs to be recorded, it can be seen. So far, the Hornets don't look desperate to improve, which they should be. They're facing a struggling Hawks team tomorrow night, so that might be their opportunity to get a win to break their current six-game losing streak. 

Photo Credit Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports