Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard wants teammates to “stop looking like we’re defeated already.”
That was Howard’s assessment of the Hornets’ expressions and body language, speaking at morning shootaround before Monday’s home game against the New York Knicks.
The Hornets are 10-19, and have lost six of their last seven games. The Hornets acquired Howard, a future Hall-of-Famer, in a June trade with the Atlanta Hawks.
Howard says it’s not too late for the Hornets to right their season. However, he repeatedly said players are “holding our heads down” in a defeatist manner.
“We’ve got to come out and play basketball; get out of our own heads and go for a win. Just that simple," Howard assessed.
There has been an adjustment period, particularly for guard Nic Batum, to Howard getting so many offensive touches in the post. Howard, averaging 16.1 points and 12.7 rebounds, said that’s been the case each of the four times he’s changed NBA teams.
"There is always an adjustment period, but I don’t want to make any excuses for that being the reason we haven’t been as successful as we want,” Howard said.
"Like I said, we’ve got to stop looking defeated, holding our heads down. It’s a long season, and we can turn this thing around, but our mentalities have to change."
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell