For a brief moment, the lights inside Spectrum Center flickered off as Dallas’ Jalen Brunson dribbled along the baseline during the second quarter, causing a brief stoppage in play.
Even though the problem was corrected in a split-second and things quickly resumed, perhaps it was a sign. Because there is little doubt the Charlotte Hornets were probably about as ready as just about everyone to turn out the lights on an injury-riddled, frustrating preseason.
Missing Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre in their last exhibition tuneup, they received two more brief scares when Miles Bridges and PJ Washington each left the 127-59 loss to Dallas on Wednesday. Bridges exited in the first half with right knee discomfort after appearing to collide with a defender and didn’t return. Washington dislocated his left middle finger and was available to return.
That was about the lone bright spot in an otherwise forgettable outing: neither injury seems serious. Here are three things we learned about the Hornets in their preseason finale:
THEY FINALLY GET MASE’D
After missing the bulk of the past week due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Mason Plumlee was in action against Dallas and got in a pretty lengthy run.
He was the lone starter to play in the second half as Borrego elected to give LaMelo Ball and Bridges the rest of the evening off. Keeping Plumlee on the floor was a necessity in Borrego’s eyes so Plumlee could work himself into playing shape.
“I appreciate him letting me play the minutes I did,” Plumlee said. “I feel good personally. But obviously a lot of work to do.”
Plumlee didn’t even attempt his first shot until he had already logged seven minutes, this after failing to hoist even one field goal against Oklahoma City in 15 minutes during the Hornets’ preseason opener.A putback off a James Bouknight miss was his initial made bucket with the Hornets and he posted four points and four rebounds in 24 minutes. Get used to it. Plumlee is not a high-volume guy.
“That’s the beauty in Mason,” Borrego said. “He doesn’t need shots to be productive. He’s been an unselfish player his whole career. He’s a playmaker out of that position. Adding another playmaker to the depth of our offense and playmaking is important. That’s why we valued him. I don’t think Mase is so concerned with his shots. None of our players should be. For us to be the best team and the depth of our success will be in the team, not on who’s taking shots that night.
“Whatever the defense gives us is what we’re going to take. And I love that about Mase. He’s not so concerned there. He’s a playmaker and a lot of times we’re going to put the ball in his hands at the top of the floor, and he’s going to make plays for other people. He’s another big who can roll to the rim and score at that level, and we’re going to need his interior presence at times to score at the rim.”
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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nba/three-things-we-learned-in-the-charlotte-hornets-e2-80-99-preseason-finale-against-dallas/ar-AAPunZU593