With eight preseason games, there's plenty of time for New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams to figure out which pieces will work best in the upcoming NBA chess match of a regular season.
These first few exhibitions, such as Tuesday night's 97-82 win over the Charlotte Bobcats in New Orleans Arena, serve primarily as educational experimentation, an opportunity to gauge which of the many new faces on the Hornets roster this season will be in the regular rotation once the regular season begins on Halloween night at home against the San Antonio Spurs.
""We're going to see what we have these first few games, more focused on competing and execution and then maybe around game five or six, start to move toward a normal rotation," Williams said Tuesday night.
Much as he did in Sunday's 85-80 come-from-behind win over the Orlando Magic in Mexico City, Williams consistently swapped faces against the Bobcats, keeping his young players wondering if their on-court performances were the reason for the frequent substitutions, though rookie Anthony Davis played 30 minutes as the starting power forward and had 22 points and nine rebounds, while fellow Austin Rivers, logged 28 minutes and scored 13 points.
Center Robin Lopez had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Hornets.