Hornets player development coach Nick Friedman has been tasked with improving the on-court performances of young players like Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels, who spend time with both the Hornets and their G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports. Friedman operates as a liaison for Hornets head coach James Borrego.
Player development via the G League worked wonders in the 2018/19 season for Devonte’ Graham (who spent 13 games in Greensboro) and Dwayne Bacon (17 games). Graham is enjoying a breakout sophomore season in Charlotte, averaging 19.0 PPG and 7.9 APG for the 15-23 Hornets, who are just two games out of the No. 8 seed in the East.
There’s more out of the Southeast Division:
- 42-year-old Hawks wing Vince Carter became the first NBA player to suit up for teams in four different decades when he stepped onto the hardwood for Atlanta’s 116-111 defeat of the Pacers, Tory Barron of ESPN writes. The eight-time All-Star, who is playing in his record-setting 22nd season, notched a +7 plus-minus rating in 18 minutes. Barron notes that 36 NBA players who have logged one minute or more in a game this season were born after Carter’s league debut on February 5th, 1999.
- Following injuries to versatile forwards Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu, the Magic are considering filling their vacant 15th roster spot, according to The Athletic’s Josh Robbins (Twitter link).
- Although several injuries have required 11-24 Wizards to adjust their bench, it has remained among the league’s best, as Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports. The Wizards’ bench has averaged 70 points per contest in their last five games, 14.4 PPG clear of the next-most prolific bench over the same period, the Pistons. The bench scored 92 points against the Nuggets and 80 points against the Heat, the two highest second unit marks in franchise history. “No matter who we’re plugging in, that’s the way we want to play,” backup guard Ish Smith observed.