Eight of the 17 players at the Charlotte Hornets training camp are carryovers from last season.
That allowed coach Steve Clifford to scrimmage more the first three days at UNC Asheville than a year ago, when he needed to do more installation.
Now he has a team with tired legs, which is a signal to double-back to the teaching side of the preseason.
“Good energy but definitely a lot of fatigue,” Clifford said of Thursday morning’s practice. “We’ve played so much, which is good for conditioning, but now we’re going to break things down more and work on the execution parts.”
The Hornets had two practices each on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday was morning-only, with the players holding a clinic Thursday afternoon with local kids from the Boys and Girls Club.
The final practice in Asheville is Friday morning before the team returns to the practice facility at Time Warner Cable Arena over the weekend.
Rookie review: Clifford was asked Thursday how rookie P.J. Hairston is fitting in.
“He has shot the ball well, and I think he’s worked hard,” Clifford said. “I think he’s just learning.”
The other Hornets rookie, Noah Vonleh, is out following surgery to repair a sports hernia. He’s expected to miss at least another two weeks while recovering. Clifford said after summer league he’s happy with what he saw from both rookies but doesn’t anticipate either one playing a lot this season.
No injuries: Other than Vonleh, the Hornets have had no injuries this preseason. By this time last year center Brendan Haywood developed a sore foot that proved to be a stress fracture. Haywood was originally supposed to be out 12 weeks but never played last season.
He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in July in a deal that removed about $2 million from the Hornets’ salary cap.
Spurs’ style: In discussing shooting guard Gary Neal’s value to the Hornets, Clifford mentioned the San Antonio Spurs’ enduring success. Clifford said the quality almost all Spurs players share is good decision-making with the ball.
“They do such a great job of figuring out what they want and finding those guys,” Clifford said. “That’s about decision-making.”