Charlotte Hornets lost a day off Thursday. Here’s why.

Friday, 06 October 2017, 06:29:34 AM. NBA preseason: Charlotte Hornets defense is ahead of offense; Thursday’s practice was about catch-up, says coach Steve Clifford.

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford says the team’s defense is ahead of the offense this preseason.

That’s normal in basketball, but Clifford needed a catch-up session at practice Thursday.

“Today was supposed to be a day off,” Clifford said following practice. “We’re not nearly as far along in our offense as we were last year at this time.”

“Offense is always harder (to install) because of (learning) the understanding of who you’re playing with and where they want the ball,” Clifford said. “A lot of that can only be done through understanding and repetition.”

The Hornets averaged 16.5 turnovers in their first two exhibitions, which Clifford said has strained the defense, as far as creating fast-break opportunities for opponents. Center Dwight Howard has committed 11 turnovers already.

As for the defense, Clifford said the Hornets will be well-tested in the preseason because of the particular teams on the schedule.

“We’re playing five teams that are very high-execution. Boston twice, Dallas, Detroit and Miami,” Clifford said. “They’ll get to the next (offensive) action quickly, all of them know about what they do. They’re hard to guard.”

Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell

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