Lessons from Miami & Denver for Hornets?

Bit presumptuous, but looks very much like Denver and Miami in the finals. Outside of getting an MVP unicorn type player like Joker, what are some of the take away from those teams that the Hornets could realistically benefit from? What strikes you that the rest of the roster is doing outside of the blue chip players on those teams?

I’m particularly interested in takeaways from Miami.

For me it’s Miami is worth the study.

It all starts with coaching. Spol is dynamic. They aren’t doing the same thing now that they were 5 years ago and of course when the big 3 were there. His offense is adaptive and creative. They push pace and sets.

Cliff is simply not. It’s slow and direct. Repetitive. No attacking the mid range area offensively.

GM: Riley just gets players. And when he doesn’t get the first choice he has back up plans. Yes, Miami is a destination compared to Charlotte but Riley doesn’t always get the guy he wants.

Roster: truly interchangeable. And not the “everyone has to be 6’6-6’9” thing. Find 4 guards to interchange around your star. Find 4 feds to interchange. Maximize the center position without making it maximize your roster.

The good news is the hornets actually are starting to get a cheap imitation of the roster.

The bad news is the coach and GM are miles and miles away

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I mean, Miami is an 8 seed who was down with 3 mins left in their second playin game before closing out on a 15-1 run to sneak into the playoffs. For them to be on the run they’re on now in the playoffs after some devastating injury’s in the playoffs is extraordinary but I don’t know that their model is one we could or should try to imitate.

I give a ton of credit to coaching so if we can find another spoelatra then by all means sign him up. He’s made it work with a less than ideal roster in my opinion and again it’s not like it worked so well in the regular season. I wouldn’t want to be paying duncan Robinson and Lowry the money they’re getting at this point in their careers. Outside of butler, Bam and I guess Herro when healthy I don’t like much on their roster over our roster. Not that I don’t like them, they’re great role players in that system but I don’t know that they would duplicate that in other systems. I mean they’re doing what they’re doing with half our castoffs so… I’ve always said we’ve had plenty good role players come thru our roster. We just need stars. And/or an extraordinary coach I guess.

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However, Herro’s exit coincidentally led to a team overall improvement. Not saying he was a problem or even that he’s not additive in a different year. In this case however, it’s telling that we do often times have a hard time understanding the chemistry and collection on the floor that leads to winning and you can remove a plus player and get more plussed as a team as a result.

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It’s culture man, that’s the difference. I’ve been screaming for years we need some real alpha’s on our teams. As good as Kemba was, that wasn’t his personality.

I think Miles was on his way to being what we needed, but we know what happened. Those guys like Rozier and Hayward you wish were the answer, but Terry is more talk than action from a leadership standpoint.

Those kind of vets don’t necessarily want to come here though, but I think this group needs that very badly. Even an end of the bench guy for the locker room like Udonis Haslem would make a difference.

I like Scoot Henderson primarily for that reason. Not that he should come in and command the locker room, but that kind of attitude and work ethic can be infectious. And that’s what Miami has.


If you want to talk basketball, those guys have been running like hell since the first round against the Bucks. Make or miss, they are pushing the tempo.

Spacing the floor well no matter what they are running in the half court. Breaking down guys off the dribble consistently at all 5 positions with Adebayo in there.

Defensively they mix in their zone more than anybody in the league. Helps keep teams off balance when they are offense. They do a great job of helping and rotating to shooters after they help also.

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Miami is likely the strongest organization in the league. If winning is your thing. The current Hornets org may be the weakest. I just get exasperated with first the silence or worse, the meandering communications, to the weak-to-meh-to-OMG No moves from these guys.

I don’t think they even like basketball anymore.

Anybody know what’s wrong with Cody Martin’s knee yet? I’m figuring more surgery will be announced in October.

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In that regard Clifford is fresh air though. Regardless what you think of his coaching, at least he gives a shit.


There’s multiple things that forged the team together. They struggled for most of the year, but had more close, down to the wire games than any team in the league, so they’re used to the tightness.

They had to fight to even get back into playoff contention, so they’re used to the head-down grind to always keep coming back.

Remember when Jimmy was trying to fight Spo and Haslem during a timeout one game? Having Haslem absolutely helped keep the team together, and I’m sure having Zo and Riley come down to put everyone in place also helped.

That fire is there from the team president to coach to players. It’s infectious, even to these undrafted guys.

And thats the thing about having that competitive on court fiery personality like Jimmy has. That attitude and energy just flows right to them, giving that confidence and never say die attitude.

They get popped in the mouth, they love it and come back for more. With Boston, they got popped and now they’re shell shocked, and may lose the next game by 40 unless they find some pride.

(Insert Scoot plug here - he’s more Jimmy, the exact type attitude that will filter to everyone when he’s on the floor)

Someone needs to ask ChatGPT to hack Miami’s algorithm on how to find these scrappy players who always can shoot and play defense, and are clutch. There’s some specific ratio of traits they’ve found that somehow always seem to work. Although it seems the magic does leave if another team tries to trade or sign a former Miami guy.

So you’re saying the hornets need a dynamic, highly athletic player that can dictate play on the offensive end, create plays in his own, attack the hoop, but can also score from mid range instead of just layups or threes?

Wow that sounds a lot like Scoot Henderson who the hornets will select with the number two pick this year :wink:


This. This is what the hornets need more of and is why they can become so stale offensively. Not saying Melo can’t break down guys off the dribble, but he’s not a “I’m going straight to the rim and yam it” kind of guy.


I can’t say I am not enjoying everything circling back to taking scoot over miller. haha


Superb post! Agree with everything you wrote.

I think the likes of Thor, Williams, Bryce, Richards and maybe Theo too, seem like the type of young men who would soak up and benefit greatly from a strong vet (or two). Hopefully LaMelo and PJ, if resigned, would also gain a lot from having an experienced, driven figure, who walks the walk, in the rotation. That’s the low hanging fruit to get this roster into, and advancing within, the playoffs, IMHO.

@Chef’s point about Spoelstra can not be overstated. He’s shown he can coach all sorts of styles, a variety of experience levels and abilities and get good results in every situation. I think he’s superb. That fruit, sadly, is much harder to reach.

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Great thread guys.

Rony Seikaly was my first lesson that we would be Miami’s B-WORD for eternity. We gotta break the cycle.

This is completely superficial but the Denver logo is my favorite in sports. Our mean little Hornet is cool and all, but I’d like for the next logo to stretch outside of the “Hornet’s nest” reference. A different visual symbol of Charlotte.

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I still wanna knock Rony Seikaly’s ass out. For some of you who don’t know the deal:

"So does Miami’s top pick, Rony Seikaly, who snubbed Charlotte prior to last summer’s NBA draft, failing to show up for a scheduled interview with the Hornets’ brass. Seikaly was booed loudly each time he touched the ball by the sell-out crowd of 23,388. The hostile reception seemed to rattle Miami’s leading scorer. He made 1 of 10 shots and was 2 of 8 from the free thorw line. He finished with four points. Miami coach Ron Rothstein didn’t stick with Seikaly long either, playing him just 23 minutes. “I think I was too ready to play,” Seikaly said. “I put too much pressure on myself to perform. The crowd really didn’t bother me, because I’m used to playing in front of big crowds.”

Yeah circling back around to Scoot. But how can Scoot change our culture if his injured a lot? Hopefully things will change w him but that is unlikely given the regiments of the league. I worry that Scoot won’t be the same explosive player in 4 years.

We are giving far too little credit to Jimmy and I understand that is because his a dawg for Miami. I have heard Jimmy called toxic because he holds other guys to account, but you know me I LOVE Jimmy Butler:

Imagine passing on a superstar sky high ceiling talent like scoot because of a worry that may not even happen.

If you look at the injuries, it’s not like he had chronic back problems, or tore his ACL or something.

Bruised knee, took a shot to the face and broke his nose with mild concussion, mild ankle thing. And they shut him down for the last few weeks of the season as a precautionary thing, since he’s about to get drafted #2. Reading it, I get the feeling he was fine to play and this was 100% precautionary for the draft. So him missing tons of games isn’t really an accurate reading.

Info collected through the years:

Seikaly said Charlotte did not have enough international flavor. That was absolutely true in 1988.

Seikaly also refused interest by Charlotte because he loved Miami’s climate.

Turns out Seikaly has been a music DJ through the years. Charlotte’s nightlife/club scene was barely existent until maybe the late 90s.

There’s definitely way more nightlife now, which can be attractive for these young players, but I like to think there is also a family values element here for the players who are already into the marriage-and-kids phase. A good balance?

As an old head I think about the fact that San Antonio and Utah were able to pull off excellence for so long. Utah(Salt Lake City) is like the complete opposite of Miami, from what I’ve gathered.

The great thing about basketball is that you can always just be one guy away from hitting your stride, whether it be a coach, a player, a GM, or an owner.


Always been a fan of Jimmy Butler. I remember having mentioned pushing to go after him back in the day and some said he’s not a “star” player to get you to a championship. Not saying he’s gonna win one here (and Miami - bleh) but I think he’s proven lots of people wrong.

Butler is a true, sum of his parts being greater guy. He is just so driven and determined that he finds a way, any way, to win for his team. His mentality elevates his game

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