Given this is Monty Williams week, today I thought I'd compare the Monty era so far to the Byron Scott era. Specifically, I wanted to look into one big improvement and one area that we still need to see work in.
Big improvement- Team Discipline
Under Byron Scott, the Hornets were one of the most undisciplined teams in the league. Players ran a muck and generally did what they felt like doing. Sometimes it was J.R. Smith and Julian Wright jacking up hots whenever the mood struck them. Other times it was Chris Paul coming in and out of the game whenever he felt like (true story: I've heard under Byron Scott CP3 would literally stand up and check into the game without even consulting Byron Scott). Monty is having none of that. Every player knows his role and plays within his system, and if that isn't the foundation for long term success, I don't know what is.
Area To Work On- Developing Young Players
I've mentioned it before- if CP3 leaves, the Hornets will have no one to blame but themselves. Our inability to develop local talent will have been the reason. Under Byron Scott, we failed to give J.R. Smith and Brandon Bass a reasonable chance to develop, and both of them went on to become key contributors to playoff teams. We also failed to develop countless first round picks (J.R. Smith, Hilton Armstrong, Cedric Simmons, etc.). Much of the blame can be put on Byron Scott and his attitude towards rookies, which was something like "play hard for five minutes, jump after loose balls, and then sit down on the bench for the rest of the game. Don't do anything else, and definitely don't talk to me otherwise." Monty hasn't had much of a chance so far, but I don't think the results are promising. Quincy consistently looked lost on the court, especially at the end of the season, when everything should have started clicking for him. Marcus never really got a shot under Williams, even though he would have added a desperately needed playmaker and shooter to the Hornets rotation.
Hopefully, season 2 of the Monty era will see some improvement in this area.