It’s going to take a while before we can truly know if Hornets coach Steve Clifford was being polite or completely snide during his post-game press conference following his team’s Game 2 loss to the Heat.
We’ll need to go back and watch the film first.
After a 115-103 loss to Miami dropped Charlotte into a 2-0 series deficit heading back home, Clifford had some aggressive words at the podium. You can argue all you want about his tone, or about if he was too condescending toward a group of media members in which some certainly don’t study the game after the final buzzer, but others do. What’s tough to take issue with, though, is his general point.
A reporter asked Clifford if he needed to make adjustments after two-straight games in which he saw the Heat offense eat his Hornets D alive.
Here was the coach’s response:
Clifford isn’t wrong to a degree. The amount of media members who study film between games probably isn’t particularly high, though that certainly isn’t true for all writers and radio/television personalities.
He’s not necessarily incorrect about his team on first glance, either (though that can change when he watches the film, of course). Things look a lot better when the ball goes in the basket, and it seemed like every Miami shot was going in no matter what.
The Heat shot better than 74 percent during the first half of the game and finished the evening shooting a tremendous 58 percent from the field. But the Hornets defense wasn’t all horrible. It’s not like the Heat were getting loads of open looks.
Actually, Charlotte contested the vast majority of Miami’s attempts during Game 2. The Heat just made them anyway. Miami shot 56 percent on contested shots during the game, total absurdity. They attempted 28 shots outside the paint but inside the three-point arc, not a horrible number from Charlotte’s perspective.
But things look great for the Heat when they make 9-of-16 threes. Or when Hassan Whiteside, who Charlotte doesn’t really have the personnel to guard, goes 8-of-8 on his shots around the rim.
What adjustments can a coach make to that?