The Charlotte Hornets had their first injury of the preseason Wednesday, but it didn’t last long.
Guard Malik Monk sat out the morning session at the Dean Smith Center with a pelvic bruise, but was cleared for full participation in the evening practice.
Monk is contending to be a starter in his second NBA season. The Hornets play the Boston Celtics Friday in their first preseason exhibition, also at the Smith Center.
The Hornets entered camp with no injury limitations for the 19 players on the preseason roster. Center Cody Zeller missed the end of last season with soreness in his left knee, an after-effect of December surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
Zeller said Wednesday he has felt no knee discomfort this camp.
Kemba, then ...
The Hornets-Celtics matchup Friday at the Dean Smith Center is one of the first two exhibitions in the league this preseason. Coach James Borrego has said a preseason game after just three days of practice won’t be much gauge of progress.
Accordingly, don’t pay intense attention to who starts and minutes for individual players. Borrego said Wednesday morning that beyond point guard Kemba Walker, he still hadn’t decided who he’d start against the Celtics.
One of the things the Hornets liked about former Michigan State forward Miles Bridges in the draft is Bridges’ versatility, particularly as a defender. But the 6-7 Bridges, who excelled at summer league in Las Vegas, is still a rookie, so Borrego is wary of overwhelming him initially.
With that in mind, Bridges will stay at small forward for now, but the long-term plan is to also experiment with him as a small-ball power forward. Smaller, more athletic lineups is a significant trend in the NBA. Bridges has some shooting range, and Borrego wants to surround Walker with as much jump-shooting as possible.
Borrego is pushing for more 3-point field goals taken: They were eighth last season in 3-point percentage at 36.9 percent, but only 21st among 30 teams in attempts per game at 27.2.
As far as using his bench, Borrego said he anticipates all 14 players under guaranteed contract to spend at least a little time in the rotation over the course of an 82-game season.
Some professional athletes claim they are oblivious to what is said and written about them and their teammates. Walker acknowledged Monday that players are absorbed with all the drama around the NBA, such as Jimmy Butler asking the Minnesota Timberwolves for a trade.
“Of course!” Walker said at media day before the team left for Chapel Hill. “We see everything; social media is our world right now. It’s everywhere, so yeah.”