Battle of the power forwards
Hornets coach Byron Scott said there is currently a battle between second-year forward Brandon Bass and rookie Cedric Simmons for the backup power forward position behind starter David West.
Bass, the team’s second-round pick a year ago, averaged 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 29 games last year. The Hornets drafted Simmons out of North Carolina State with the 15th pick in June.
“That’s a battle,” Scott said. “Both of them are playing well, so I don’t know yet. That’s going to come out of these preseason games. Somebody’s going to have to win the job, obviously.”
• Jackson ailing:
Reserve center Marc Jackson sat out Monday’s practice with a nagging hamstring injury. Scott, however, said Jackson would play in tonight’s preseason opener against the Dallas Mavericks.
“His hamstring is something that’s going to be probably an issue for awhile,” Scott said. “He got through training camp with it. We tried to give him some time off as far as some of the drills because I didn’t want to push it.”
Scott also said that Jackson is the clear-cut backup to starting center Tyson Chandler, making rookie Hilton Armstrong third in the rotation.
“Marc has played well, and it’s no doubt that he’s going to be the backup to Tyson right now,” Scott said.
• Vinicius still hurting:
Hornets second-round pick Marcus Vinicius is still recovering from a nagging hamstring injury of his own. Vinicius spent much of Monday’s practice in the weight room and riding a stationary bike. Scott said he’s hopeful that Vinicius can return to practice in the next two or three days.