NEW ORLEANS — Sometimes, it’s the teacher instead of the students who learns a valuable lesson in the classroom.
After the Hornets’ 97-68 trouncing at the hands of the Hawks on Thursday in Atlanta — New Orleans’ second consecutive lopsided preseason loss — coach Monty Williams said after the game that he would put his team through an extensive film-review session Friday to help correct its offensive struggles and defensive flaws.
Williams did have his pre-practice video instruction. However, he came away with a stark realization, and more about himself than the team, whose effort has always been there, he said.
“There were a number of things I didn’t like, and all of it falls on my shoulders,” said Williams. “The bottom line is, I have to know what I can give and what I can’t give to the guys, and there are times when I feel I’ve overloaded them with information, and that hasn’t served us well in the last two games.”
Williams said he wants to make sure the young Hornets, with seven players with two years experience or less — including three rookies — are prepared, but prepared the right way, and are not given too much information.
So for Friday’s practice, they dialed it back a notch, mentally but not physically.
“We took a step way back, just to get back to the kind of basketball that we have to play. It just hasn’t seemed like that the last couple of games,” he said. “I think we have to cut the package down a little bit, make sure that guys know exactly what they are supposed to be in.”
Williams often had admitted he was throwing a lot at his players, but that they were expected to study and stay up to speed. They were highly paid professionals now, he reasoned.
The Hornets will holds their open practice from 10 a.m.-noon today at New Orleans Arena. Fans will be admitted free to watch the workout.
Williams will wear a microphone, giving fans exposure to his interaction with the players during a routine practice session.
“It usually ends up being a fun day for the fans,” Williams said. “We want to get out there and show the fans some of the things we’ve been working on.”
He said it’s a chance for the fans to connect with the team of new Hornets, and vice versa.
“It’s a different fanbase” in New Orleans compared with other NBA cities, he said. “It’s more like a high school team. (The players) are going to see the same people (at the open practice) that they see on the streets.
“In this town, it’s a little bit different, and that’s what makes it cool.”
Free parking will be available in lots 2 and 3, and fans should enter through the northeast entrance, which is adjacent to the Hornets’ Nest store.
Fans will be able to take pictures with rookies Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers and Darius Miller after practice.