‘Scrubs.’ Why that word ticks off Miles Bridges and his Charlotte Hornets teammates

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Rick Bonnell
·2 min read
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The Charlotte Hornets are still “scrubs” to the rest of the NBA. Miles Bridges and his teammates are sick of that.

“Opponents, they still think we’re scrubs. We’re just trying to show people that it’s a new year,” Bridges said Friday, before the Hornets play the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco.

The Hornets just beat the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Afterward, Charlotte guard Malik Monk said of the rest of the league, “We’re going to make them respect us.”

That follows Bridges’ blunt comments in the preseason about the Hornets’ four-season absence from the playoffs: “The Hornets, we haven’t been a good organization for a long time. Let’s be honest about it — everybody here, we’re tired of that.”

The Hornets are currently 15-16, tied with the Chicago Bulls for the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference. They last reached the playoffs in the spring of 2016. Only one player from that roster, center Cody Zeller, remains in Charlotte.

“We’re still under .500, but I feel like we’ve opened a lot of teams’ eyes as to how (much) better the Hornets are getting and how good we’re going to be in the future,” said Bridges.

“We’re trying to prove something. I feel like us making the playoffs, and continuing to get better, is showing everybody, ‘Look, it’s not the same Hornets that we used to be.’”

Draymond Green revenge game?

Bridges might spend part of Friday’s game guarding another former Michigan State star, Draymond Green. The Warriors forward-center was ejected near the end of the prior Hornets-Warriors game. The two technical free throws resulting from Green’s outburst with nine seconds left were crucial to the Hornets’ two-point victory.

Green views Friday night as a revenge game, saying, “I gave them one they shouldn’t have.”

Bridges was asked about Green’s persona.

“He never forgets anything — his memory is crazy. He’s going to try to use that game as motivation against us,” Bridges said. “We’re ready to go. They’re ready to go. They have everybody back on their team. I can’t wait for Round 2.”

Cody Zeller could miss Warriors game

The Hornets could be down two starters Friday against the Warriors, after Zeller was downgraded to doubtful with a left hip contusion.

The Hornets were already without guard Devonte Graham, who will miss his fourth consecutive game with soreness around his left knee cap.

Zeller suffered that injury in the second half of the Suns game.

If Zeller can’t play, Bismack Biyombo would presumably start at center. Biyombo started 16 games earlier this season, after Zeller broke a finger in the season-opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.