With Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller out indefinitely with a knee bruise, the team’s fifth big man, Johnny O’Bryant, has been pushed into the rotation.
Coach Steve Clifford wanted to play O’Bryant more in the preseason, and O’Bryant showed promise against the Milwaukee Bucks.
In 13 minutes in Monday’s road loss, O’Bryant totaled 14 points and four rebounds. He shot 4-of-7 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Clifford liked what he saw from O’Bryant late last season, particularly his knack for scoring, including long-range shooting.
“He’s always been a scorer. In the (G-) League, he posted, he iso(lated) and he shot like 37 percent from 3,” Clifford said Friday.
“He’s a better passer than I ever realized. He’s becoming a better all-around player. Part of that is being around Marvin (Williams); they see Marvin plays every facet of the game.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell