Hornets Hire Monty Williams
Williams arrives to a team in flux. The Hornets won the second seed in the Western Conference in 2008, but slipped the following year (eventually being laughed out of the playoffs by the Nuggets) and never made a serious run for the postseason this year. Injuries to Chris Paul played a big part, of course, though the team went only 23-22 in Paul's 45 games of action. The Emeka Okafor acquisition didn't work as planned, as the team under Byron Scott and Jeff Bower slipped all the way to the league's bottom 10 in defense. The season prior, with a full campaign under Scott and with Tyson Chandler in Okafor's place, the team ranked No. 9 in defense. In the brilliant 2007-08 season, the Hornets finished No. 7.
The team's offense would seem to be in better shape, though it's unknown what type of system Williams will implement. Given that he coached under Gregg Popovich (for one year) and McMillan, "slow" would be a smart guess. That's what Scott ran over his N.O. tenure -- a slow pick-and-roll/draw-and-kick offense -- and it tends to work because Paul is such a dominantly efficient guard. Things have changed somewhat thanks to Darren Collison. No longer does the team need to preserve Paul's wind because of a lack of a usable back-up. Collison, a 2009 late first-round pick, filled in for Paul admirably last season and could pave the way for some two-PG action.
Which NBA teams have openings? Find out on FanHouse's NBA Coach Tracker.