Charlotte Hornets' Steve Clifford believes he has a playoff roster
New point guard Michael Carter-Williams is the only Charlotte Hornet yet to scrimmage, and he’s been ruled out for two upcoming preseason exhibitions.
However, there’s good news on Carter-Williams’ recovery from procedures on both knees: He told the Observer Sunday he anticipates being cleared for contact sometime early next week.
Carter-Williams had Platelet-Rich Plasma injections in both knees to promote healing of patella tears. He’s been restricted to noncontact drills over a week of training camp, before the Hornets flew to Boston Sunday for a Monday exhibition against the Celtics.
“I’ll start going live next week. I’m feeling good,” said Carter-Williams, who signed a one-season $2.7 million contract to back up Kemba Walker.
Carter-Williams has been restricted since July, when he had those procedures to relieve knee pain. He says he’s picked up a lot from the sideline, and has gone through plenty of noncontact installation of offense and defense the first week.
“I talk to Kemba a lot, and that helps. I stay after practice to go over the playbook. I watch film. I’m constantly trying to stay as close to the curve as I can,” said Carter-Williams, who previously played for Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Chicago. “Hopefully, I won’t have a lot to learn when I come back. I’m sure I’ll play through some mistakes in practice, and I’ll learn from them.”
Walker is 6-foot-1. Carter-Williams and third-string point guard Julyan Stone are each 6-6, which provides a contrast at the position. Carter-Williams has length that can be disruptive for opposing point guards looking to make entry passes to the post.
“I believe that I’m one of the best defenders in this league; I take a lot of pride in that,” Carter-Williams said.
“I can relieve some pressure off Kemba, to guard (an opponent) who’s got it going. I also think I can get guys involved (offensively), using my length.”